Junior fire marshal program seeks youths

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 02:13 PM

If fire strikes, would your child know what to do?  The Durham Fire Department wants to help you answer “yes.” 

Each year during the Durham Public Schools’ spring break, the Durham Fire Department and Durham Parks and Recreation join to teach youngsters in the city basic fire safety survival tips and introduce them to the world of career exploration. The program mimics mature scenarios that help build character and ignite interest for personal development. 

The program lasts three days and ends with a graduation on the fourth day, when candidates are deemed junior fire marshals by Durham’s fire marshal in front of family, past junior fire marshals and Durham City Council members. The application deadline is March 19, and youth 11 to 15 are encouraged to apply.

“We’re targeting the age group left home alone a few hours after school who may get anxious for dinner and attempt to prepare meals for themselves,” Fire Marshal Edward Reid said. “This can potentially be a world of trouble should a fire start. The major goals of the junior fire marshal program are to get your child comfortable with knowing what to do in case of a fire and introducing to them many different future career opportunities that are available in this field.” 

The program is free and focuses on preparing participants for the worst in case of an emergency.  Some of this year’s highlights include incorporating one of the city’s core values, customer service, into every lesson taught.

Slots for the program are filling up fast. Contact Sierra Jackson, public affairs specialist for the Durham Fire Department, at 919-560-4233, ext. 19242, or by email at Sierra.Jackson@durhamnc.gov, or Durham Parks and Recreation’s Kendrick Vann at 919-560-4405, ext. 27322, or by email Kendrick.vann@durhamnc.gov.  Candidates may also obtain an application online at http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/Fire/Pages/jr_fire_marshal_form.aspx .