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Young women learn how to be a fire fighter at Phoenix Firecamp

By ALLISON NORLIAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Teenage girls from around the country experience the life of a fire fighter this week at the Phoenix Firecamp in Utica. They get housed, fed, trained and meet lifelong friends.

The camp which is in its seventh year, welcomes 23 girls ages 14 to 19, but only after an application process. The girls who attend the camp get the opportunity to learn how to save lives and what it would take to make this their career.

The week is filled with an immense amount of activities that Phoenix Firecamp Director, Anna Schermerhorn-Collins said will prepare them for their future as a fire fighter.

"We do hose line operations, operate fire hoses, they are going to put out a fire, they are going to do search and rescue while wearing a CVA a fire fighting mask, they are going to go into smokey dark environments, they are going to climb ladders, and learn how to operate tools, how to cut a car open and how to learn basic medical skills, bleeding control, splinting and how to back board a patient, they are going to get physical fitness and classrooms on fire safety, basic engine and ladder operations ...we re going to teach them everything we can they will also get a night in the hole where they will get to do a water rescue as well."

Schermerhorn-Collins also said it is important for these girls to meet other young women with similar interests.

"Its important for young women because the young women who are members of fire department very often they may be the only woman in the department so they like to meet other young women with the same interests and so they don't feel so alone."

The girls, such as Jordyn Williams, along with their experienced trainers both said it is about teamwork.

Williams said, "The teamwork...its very important part of fire fighting...we all work as a team."

The program which was started in 2007 has become annual.

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