Swifton Fire Department brings back junior firefighter program

SWIFTON, AR (KAIT) - The Swifton Fire Department is making it their mission to get the youth in the community involved by bringing back the Swifton Junior Firefighter program.

According to Lieutenant Drake Slagley, they're bringing the program back to keep the youth out of trouble.

"We decided to bring it back because it was a good program in the past," Slagley said. "It will teach them self-skills and leadership skills."

Slagley said the Swifton Junior Firefighter program is open to teenagers ages 15-18. He said their mission is to give the teens a hands-on experience on what it's like to be a Swifton firefighter.

"They'll get hands-on with fire hoses," he said. "and we'll do control burns and mock-training. We want to let them experience first hand what it's like on the actual fire scene."

Slagley also said their program has been very beneficial to the fire department because they recruit future firefighters at the end of training.

However, the Lieutenant said to wear the black uniform, one has to work for it.

"We will require them to take in-house training," he said. "It's called Intro to Fire."

During this class, Slagley said they will go over the safety of the fire grounds, equipment, and laws that come with being a firefighter.

"This class is to make sure they're protected whenever they actually do go out into the actual real world fire," he said.

Slagley said the Swifton Junior Firefighter program is free.

He said the fire department currently have nine applicants, but Slagley said their goal is to recruit at least 18 members by the end of February.

The first meeting of the Swifton Junior Firefighter program is Feb. 14. For more information, contact the Swifton Fire Department.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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