Local youth train to become volunteer firefighters through special program

Dozens of people were at the Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department over the weekend. The volunteers training were not normal volunteers. They are all kids taking part in the department's volunteer firefighter cadet program.

Posted: Feb 10, 2019 8:33 PM
Updated: Feb 10, 2019 10:38 PM

BELLMORE, Ind. (WTHI)- Dozens of people were at the Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department over the weekend. That's as families came to see what the departments newest recruits have learned.

"I’ve learned so many things,” said Ali Hetrick who was one of the cadets. “We've learned how to roll hoses, how to throw a hose, how to stay low to the ground, how to be able to navigate without being able to see."

The volunteers training were not normal volunteers. They are all kids taking part in the department's volunteer firefighter cadet program.

Fire Chief Jason games said all of the kids are working to help address a growing national issue.

"Some of the struggles in the volunteer fire services is always been recruitment and retention. Over many years in the past and getting all the way down to the minimum of thirteen members at one time," said Games.

For months these cadets have been learning the ins and outs of how to be a firefighter. It's a program funded by various grants and the department.

When completed these kids will be fully eligible volunteers. They also get a special gift.

"They will have head to toe once they complete the academy, we'll give them brand new gear. And actually end up with a state emergency medical responder’s certification," said Games.

These cadets say they are ready to keep working to help save lives.

"I really hope that we all stick together and that we're all able to stay with it because I know we all love it. We've all become closer since we got here and I hope it stays that way," said Hetrick.

The cadets also get to go along with the Bellmore Fire Department on emergency runs. If you would like to learn more about the program and how to get involved you can contact the department at (765)344-0188

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