WVFC to sponsor weeklong girls Utica fire camp

T he Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company is looking for a few good women.

The company is sponsoring applicants for a unique program for teenage girls who want to explore service opportunities in fire and emergency services.

The Phoenix Firecamp, which was created by Fire Service for Women in New York State in 2007, brings girls ages 14 to 19 for an intensive, weeklong camp in Utica. The camp features a full staff of experienced female firefighters.

The program is the first of its kind in the Northeast and only one of a handful nationwide.

The camp is free, and the WVFC will pay the nonrefundable application fee for each applicant.

“This is the first the year the fire company has sponsored applicants for this camp,” said Bryan Brooks, chief of the company. “The program builds self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Applicants do not need prior firefighting experience, but must be in good physical condition, have medical insurance, complete the application and write a 500 word essay.

Campers will enjoy a one-to-one student to teach ratio and will learn the basic aspects of fire and emergency services.

Campers will be housed at the Utica Fire Academy, a former firehouse. The camp will be held from July 15-20.

The Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company encourages girls from Whitehall and Dresden ages 14-19 to stop by the school guidance office and see Sheryl Wescott for more information on how to apply.

To learn more about the program, visit www.fswnys.org.

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