By Amanda Foust
Carmel Fire Dept. firefighter Tim Griffin knows first hand that firefighters do more than just put out flames in houses.
“Firefighters are extremely involved in the community,” he said.
For the fourth year, the Carmel Fire Dept. partnered with the Clay Township Trustee’s office to present Firefighter for a Day Camp at Prairie Trace Elementary School.
More than 450 kids ages 7 to 13 came to the camp June 27 to 29 and were given the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a firefighter. Off-duty firefighters and their families volunteered their time to make the event happen.
“It’s a good chance to teach fire safety tips, educational tips and get a chance to just have fun with the kids,” Griffin said.
All the activities at the event provided the kids a hands-on learning experience.
“We have lots of fun here learning to be firefighters,” said 10-year-old participant Cameron Deitsch.
The mornings started with fitness workouts, stretches and cheers on the lawn. The participants then split up into groups, led by volunteer firefighters and went through a variety of learning stations.
They ran through an obstacle course and navigated a Smokehouse on their hands and knees as a practice to save a (fake) baby. One group washed a fire truck, while others used hose lasers to put out fires. There was also a fire safety house that had safety hazards for the kids to identify.
At the end of the day, both participants and firefighters considered the highlight to be the water ball competition. A large, yellow ball was suspended in the air by a wire and pulley while two teams lined up on either side. A firefighter stood in front of each group holding the neck of the hose and directed their team to spray and move the ball to the opponent’s side to win the competition.
The entire event was possible because of the community’s donations. Every participant received a free T-shirt, water bottle and a Chick-fil-A lunch.
“Clay Township donated to make this possible, and we couldn’t have done this without them,” Griffin said.