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Teens learn to fight fires at Junior Firefighting Camp

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Summer camp was slightly more dangerous than a trip to the woods Wednesday, as one group of teenagers spent the day fighting fires.

Fourteen teens from around Oneida County are spending the week learning everything there is to know about being a firefighter. On Wednesday, the recruits were given access to the Utica Fire Department's training facility on Leland Ave.

Instructors say the idea for the camp was born during a recruitment day at Holland Patent High School, and the goal is very simple - to spark interest in firefighting careers with the younger crowd.

"I don't think the fire service alone can rely on camps like this, but I think it's a start," said Chief Neil Sutherland of the Stittville Fire Department. "It's a way to get young kids interested and involved and it keeps them off the streets, that's for sure."

It's the very first Junior Firefighter Camp held by Mohawk Valley Community College and instructors say they are already getting some calls from people who want to take part in the camp next year.

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