WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A summer camp in West Hartford empowers girls and inspires the next generation of firefighters.
The Girls Future Firefighter Camp is well underway, showing these ladies that careers in public safety are possible.
This isn’t your average summer camp. It’s more like a training camp meant to inspire girls, ages 13 to 18, to consider careers in public safety, including becoming firefighters in Connecticut.
“The goal, first of all, is to build confidence to let these ladies know that they are more than capable of handling anything that comes their way,” Southbury Training School fire chief Shelly Carter said.
The program is hosted by the Kingwood Oxford School’s Camp KO in West Hartford, with these girls getting a true sense of what it takes to become a firefighter.
“I thought it was amazing that we could have this program here to empower girls, make them feel really good about themselves, and introduce them to careers in public service that they may not have considered in the past,” said Sheri Shea, the director of Camp KO.
A team of women from Fire Combat Fitness leads the group, having them complete various drills to prepare for the candidate’s physical abilities test (CPAT).
“The CPAT is an obstacle course that you’re expected to pass before you get hired with a fire department,” Audrey Ozga of Fire Combat Fitness said.
They cheered each other on during practice rescues. They also carried heavy hose lines and equipment between learning about first aid.
“I didn’t really think of this as a career for myself until I saw women out there doing the job,” Ozga said. “By seeing people that I know in the fire service, it got me thinking that this is a potential career to help people. That’s my ultimate goal.”
It’s all about acquiring skills and inspiring a future female generation.
“This is all a group effort in teaching women that they can be anything they want to be,” Carter said.
Click here for more information on the Girls Future Firefighter Camp in West Hartford.