2015 Kids Fire & Life Safety Camp

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The Orland Fire Protection District’s Fire & Life Safety Camp was held Tuesday, July 13th through Friday, July 17th, and was a huge hit again this year! Public Education Coordinator Elizabeth (Betsy) Dine wants to thank everyone who came out to speak and to help at our camp this year. It would not be as successful without all the volunteers who give of their time to make it a great experience for the kids and Betsy would like to thank each and every one of her volunteers. Each camp day schedule was a mix of fun fire and life safety lessons.

On Tuesday, the camp kicked off with Fire Chief Ken Brucki welcoming the campers. Then the campers watched our very own firefighters perform a live fire response demo. It’s always very exciting for them and they are able to ask questions afterwards. Next, they learned about CPR and First Aid with many hands-on activities. After, a representative from Advocate Children’s Hospital gave them a lesson in injury prevention which included poison prevention and the Berry Unsafe House.

On Wednesday the OFPD had some very special guests drop by the camp to surprise the kids: Denver Broncos football player, Michael Schofield, and Kendall Coyne, a US Olympics Women’s Hockey Team player and 2013 Silver Medalist. They stopped by to speak to the campers about their individual journeys to becoming the athletes they are today. They touched on the dedication and commitment it takes to be the best a person can be and never giving up on individual dreams. Bear Paddle Swim School came out and helped our Dive Team instructor teach the children about water safety with live demonstrations in the pool. The children also learned about safe bike riding and went home with their own helmet fitted specifically for them by the team from Advocate Children’s Hospital. Some of the firefighters helped the children tour our fire and life safety trailer, teaching the children about kitchen and bedroom fire safety, and taught them about EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home). A lesson on pet safety was given by Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs. The handlers brought these beautiful, sweet golden retrievers to demonstrate the importance of taking care of your pets in a safe and loving way. Our very own Fire Dog Sparky made an appearance as well and taught them some new dance moves.

Thursday was a rainy day so we spent most of the days indoors listening to various speakers. First up was Papa Choo Choo (Gordon Bowe) from Operation Lifesaver/Union Pacific Railroad. He did a great job informing the children why to stay off railroad tracks and how to be safe when crossing tracks. Next, a nutritionist spoke to the campers about the importance of healthy eating and developing good eating habits. Lastly, Author Nancy Flowers spoke to the children about a very important topic: bullying. She gave them pointers on how not to be a bully and what to do if he/she is being bullied.

Our last day, Friday, was a fun-filled day. First a police officer spoke to the children about stranger danger and how there are both good and bad strangers. She gave them instructions on how to react in different situations. An Officer from the Cook County Sherriff’s Department SWAT Team also showed the children the vehicle they use and some of their equipment. The kids were able to try on the different gear and had a great time in the Show & Tell exercises. The last part of the day the children got to go to various stations, one of which was the Firefighter Challenge where they got to shoot a real fire hose to put the fake flames out. Because of the heat and humidity outside, they had a lot of fun getting wet. The next station was the Combat Challenge which represents a firefighter in action. The campers climbed through numerous obstacles: climbing through windows, crawling under pretend smoke, and just getting up and around to safe ground. The very last station was the Wheel of Wisdom where campers competed against each other to show how much they learned throughout the week. Each group was given questions and the participants had to buzz in quickly as well as answer correctly in order to win points.

Graduation seemed to come quickly as parents visited the camp to see their campers get their camp diplomas. Fire Chief Brucki quizzed them on all on what they had learned. Everyone was quick and excited to raise their hands to answer the questions. The camp was a huge success.

For more information on Kids Fire & Life Safety Camp, click here.

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