The Junior Firefighter Program was created in 1998 for the purpose of recruiting future firefighters, as well as giving the youth of the community a place to learn new skills. After being on hiatus from 2001-2004, the program was started up again in 2004. The members of the Junior Firefighters have helped out the West Ridge Fire Department in various ways. Several current firefighters today got their start as a WRFD Junior Firefighter.
Besides learning the skills of becoming a firefighters, Junior Firefighters at West Ridge also participate in various other activities and functions. They participate in parades, fire prevention details, block parties, public relations details and training of the new Junior Firefighters. One of the tasks that the Junior Firefighters do every week is the apparatus checklist. This allows the Juniors to learn the layout of the apparatus, what the tools are and what they look like and their function. This is done under the supervision of a Senior Firefighter.
Training is held on Monday evenings along with the West Ridge Fire Department. Juniors are permitted to participate in all aspects the training as long as it does not put the Junior Firefighter into danger, violate PA Child Labor Laws or violate the PA Junior Emergency Service Compliance Manual. Some of the training that Junior Firefighters have participated in are search and rescue, vehicle extrication, hose line advancement, accountability, ladders, fire science, and ventilation.
The Junior Firefighter Program has become a huge success. Several current Millcreek Township Firefighters have gotten their firefighting career started as a Junior Firefighter at the West Ridge Fire Department. Past Junior Firefighters have gone on to become experienced firefighters at such departments as West Ridge, West Lake, Lake Shore and Belle Valley. Some Junior Firefighters have gone on to become career Firefighters with the Charleston, SC Fire Department.
If you would like more information about the Junior Firefighter Division, please fee free to stop by Station 46 on Monday evening at 6:30pm or email the Junior Firefighters.
West Ridge Fire Department 3142 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506 (814) 833-4440 firstname.lastname@example.org