Comox Fire Rescue is gearing up for its Junior Firefighter Camp next week.

The 11th annual four day, three-night camp will host close to 30 highschool students.

Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner says each day will be full of activities for the kids to learn and work through.

“They’ll get up at 7:00am in the morning for fitness and breakfast, a little bit of classroom time. At 9:00am we send them out to our training area and they stay out in training until 9:00pm at night. About 12 hours of physical work.”

“They’ll do some medical training, they’ll do some live-fire training, putting out car fires and perhaps structure fires. They’ll do some auto ex-work, cutting some cars apart. They’ll do some repelling off our 50-foot tall tower. They’ll crawl around in our confined space trainer. Pretty much a whole gamut”, explains Schreiner.

He adds that the camp started as a way to teach fire safety skills, but has expanded into something much bigger.

“It started about 20 years ago really as a fire prevention idea to try and get some of the younger people into the fire station to learn a bit about fire safety, kitchen fires, that kind of thing. But it evolved into this more robust camp. Some of these kids will go on and want to be volunteers in their own community and perhaps even be a career firefighter in other communities.”

He says it also gives both the students and the firefighters a chance to connect.

“The most important thing is that it gives our firefighters here a chance to work with some young people in our community and vice versa, young people get to work with some role models in their community. It’s just a win-win for everybody,” says Schreiner.

The bi-annual Firefighter Youth Camp starts this Sunday and runs until Wednesday at the Comox Fire Rescue’s hall on Noel Avenue.