During the week of July 20, juniors and Explorers from 13 different fire companies came together for the newly formed “Camp Fahrenheit 516.” The camp was designed to give these kids first-hand experience.
The camp program was designed by the Nassau County Junior Firefighter Association (NCJFA) Board of Directors, the Nassau County Fire Service Academy staff, FSA instructors, Chief John Brown and Chief Robert Hughes.
They got the idea of the camp when some of the juniors from Nassau County were traveling more than five hours away to other states to attend camps. For months, they took the two-week
primary and essential course and modified it to cover five days with over 70 percent of it including hands-on training. We wanted to give them something they wouldn’t get anywhere else.
From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for five straight days, they received the most intense training we could offer. They went through evolutions such as mask confidence, search and rescue, forcible
entry, emergency evacuation procedures, ground ladders, fire extinguisher drills, two-minute drills and ropes as well as live car and warehouse fires.
NCJFA President Kelly Hastings said she has been an Explorer for more than three years and had never experienced anything like the training she received that week. The campers were handed evaluation forms on the last day.
One of the inquiries was to list something you disliked about the camp. Everyone wrote, “It was too short.”
We will continue to look at the curriculum each year, changing and moving things as necessary to provide the best training for this program. The camp was put together with a lot of different hands. The NCJFA would especially like to thank the Fire Service Academy and the entire Nassau County Vocational Education and Extension Board, not only for the camp, but also for their constant support for the juniors and Explorers in Nassau County.
Also, thank you to the following for their donations: the Fifth Battalion Softball League, Port Jeff Sports of Port Jefferson for camp shirts and the Boy Scouts of America for water bottles.
– Jerry Presta