From press & staff reports
The Louisville Fire Department was proud to host their 3rd annual Camp Fire Academy, which is quickly becoming a summer tradition in the Louisville community by providing educational yet fun options for youth.
The Camp Fire Academy gives children a solid foundation for teaching fire safety in the community. The Fire Academy for Kids program gives the youth of the community lessons and regarding fire safety using fun but educational activities and demonstrations. It also gave them a chance to see what it’s like to be a fireman as well as their life on duty.
This year’s camp featured slightly less than last year’s total. Leading the program for the third year was Shift Leader/FLSE Detrick Sanders. Sanders, who has a passion for his job and for the children of the community, is becoming known in the community as the leader in providing fire safety to all.
“Every child needs to know what to do in case of an emergency whether it is a fire, accident or some kind of illness,” Sanders said. “It is something that should be practiced in homes on a regular basic. We never know when something could happen or someone may need help. If a person does not know what to do to get help or to get out a burning building then they could be seriously hurt and killed.”
Also assisting Sanders in instructing the campers this year were various volunteer firefighters from the LFD, as well as caring residents of Louisville who were willing to donate their time to this worthy cause. They were Bennie Sanders, Zoria Nicholson, Luvetrius Carter, Phillip Hainsey, Braxton Bane, Darnell Dawkins, Michael Moorehead, Joel Triplett, Tracy Grabher, Robert Hutto, Jill Pearson, Takaweka Sanders, and Roy Eicherbuger.
In the first day, the children familiarized themselves with their peers as well as discuss rules and safety regarding fires. The children were also given a pre-test, which demonstrates their knowledge of fire safety before the class. Camp leaders also practiced exit drills with the children to teach them the proper way to escape a home during a fire. Most of the activities for the rest of the day consisted of giving the campers a walk-through such as assigning groups, covering rules and safety, and identifying the fire exits and safety zones.
The second day started out with physical fitness drills for the campers. Next was discussing fire safety and E.D.I.T.H (Exit Drills in The Home). E.D.I.T.H involves preparing for a home fire with the installation of smoke detectors in the home, as well as planning an escape route for family members to follow. Other fire safety exercises performed on this day were practice calls to 911 and exit drills.
The third day was filled with many activities, beginning with a discussion regarding fire extinguisher. The children were show how to use a fire extinguisher, the different kinds, and what each type can be used on. Several of the campers stated that their home had fire extinguishers.
Next, the campers were visited by LifeCare EMS paramedics. The two paramedics gave the campers a simulation of an emergency call by giving an assessment to a volunteer from the group. The paramedics also showed how they would immobilize a patient for an ambulance ride. Next, the campers were given a tour of the ambulance itself and showed the equipment on board with the paramedics explaining all uses.
Following the visit from LifeCare, the campers were given a visit from the MedStat EMS Air Crew members Larry Fields and Erin Dunagin in the MedStat helicopter. The campers were really excited about the visit, and were given the chance to sit in the helicopter to view its equipment and features. The air paramedics explained how they use their equipment as well as how they transport patients through the air. The EMS crew explained how helicopter added speed to transporting the most critical patients.
“It is like an ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in the sky,” said Fields.
On the fourth day, Sanders gave the kids a demonstration on how to dress in a fireman’s suit, also known as the turn out gear. The campers learned how quick a fireman must suit up to respond to fires quickly. This is one of the most exciting times for the kids, as they get the chance to dress in actual fireman equipment and are timed how long it takes for them to suit up.
The children’s high point of the day was a visit from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, who came to demonstrate “Rover”, a truck cab that spins on its own axis at 35 MPH to simulate a rollover crash. Running the simulation were Assistant Safety Programs Coordinator Jonathan Colwell and assistant Paige Hardee. The vehicle is used to illustrate the effects of the rollover crash on unrestrained occupants, hoping to teach children and others the importance of seatbelt usage.
The children learned the importance of seatbelt as they watched the crash dummies being tossed from the vehicle as the truck cab did numerous rolls. The demonstrators on hand explained the uses of seatbelts, booster seats, and how to restrain younger children in a vehicle. They also explained how children under 13 should be in the backseat due to injuries that can come from airbags.
“I would to thank Life Care Ambulance Service, Medstat Air Care, Winston County Sheriff Department, Christy Mibourne for the rollover simulator, and Batesville Fire Department for the fire safety trailer,” Sanders said.
The final day of the program featured the campers practicing their fire exit drills, which consisted of operating a fire extinguisher, going to their meeting place, calling 911, and etc.
For the rest of the day, the campers got to enjoy the most exciting time of the week, Wet & Wild Friday. The children were given a demonstration on hooking one of the fire engines to a hydrant outside the fire department and hose drills.
Once the demonstration was over, the children took the opportunity to cool off on the hot summer day with shower of water from the fire engine. After the fun and games, the group dismissed for the day, later to return that evening for their graduation.
At the graduation ceremony, the instructors presented the helpers for the week with camp T-shirt for their hard work and dedication to the children. Then LFD Chief Terry Johnson addressed the parents and campers about the importance of taking what they learned and applying it in everyday life. Johnson also thanked all the parents for allowing them to attend the program.
Next, the campers were presented with their certificates, as well as firemen hats to go with their camp T-shirt. Once the ceremony was over, the campers and parents were given a cookout and social gathering, which featured a tour of the fire department for those who were interested.
Sanders was pleased with the progress the children made during the week. “Throughout the week we worked with the kids about calling 911, knowing their address, escaping from a burning building & operating fire extinguishers, first aid, not to use drugs, and the use of seatbelts,” Sanders said. “I hope what the children learned will help them and, I hope they will teach the information to others.”
The Louisville Fire Department would like to thank all their sponsors for this event: Crowson’s Auto World, The City of Louisville, Louisville Fire Department Association, City Pawn & Gun, The Uptown Lily, The Winston County Journal, The Jewelry Shoppe, East Main Auto, Louisville Bankers’ Association, Winston Co. Co-Op, Jerry’s Flowers & Gifts, Paul & Deborah Halfacre (Alfa Insurance), Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ, Wal-Mart, Oh So Sweet!!, Starlette Pattie, and Mr. & Mrs. Danny Hicks.
“I want to personally thank all the sponsors who gave their support for the camp,” Sanders said. “Their donations were extremely important this year in making this event possible for our kids.”
Sanders wanted to thank all the children who participated in this year’s camp. They were Jakhai Carter, John Comeaux, Naomi Comeaux, Kalee Hall, Simeon Matthews, Kendon Sanders, Chris Smith, Cati Grabher, Nicholas Jackson, Kameron Roger, Hartley Wilson, Cooper Barton, Steven James II, I’onnya Coleman, JR Coleman, Wyatt Blanton, Machell Holmes, Antarious Murry, Erica Murry, Nathan Moorehaed, Rachel Moorehead, Jamire Jones, Ethan Dailey, Quincy Houston, Nijel Mays, Jarius Carter, and Mykel Smith.
Sanders also gave a special thanks to all the parents for allowing their children the opportunity to attend the Camp Fire Academy, and remind them to practice fire safety at least every three months.