Junior Firefighter Training Program Reopens

May 15, 2014

The Dularge Volunteer Fire Department is reopening its junior firefighter program.

The Louisiana department is recruiting boys ages 12-17 to be a part of the program that trains students in firefighting and lifesaving techniques as well as allow them to participate in real firefights, The Courier reported.

Case Lovell, a Dularge firefighter who organized the program, says youngsters will get a good view of how a fire department operates and whether a career in firefighting is a good fit for them.

The Montegut Volunteer Fire Department offers a similar program for youngsters ages 14-17.

Both departments are in Terrebonne Parish.

“When the kids get out of our program they have a foundation that’s already been laid where they have the practical skills to hopefully become an active volunteer firefighter. We currently have about 15 active students,” said Toby Henry, Montegut/Pointe-aux-Chenes Volunteer Fire Department district chief.

Lovell and Henry said they both were involved with a junior firefighter program as teenagers.

“I started with the program, moved up to being a volunteer when I was old enough and then after two years I became a fully paid and certified fireman,” Lovell said.

Participants in the Dularge program age 12-15 are considered junior firefighters and undergo training with the department’s paid and volunteer firefighters as well as learn emergency medical techniques. Teens 16-17 years old are considered cadets and learn about the tools of the trade and begin assisting the department’s firefighters during actual fires.

“They’re out there to support us. They change the air bottles on our air packs, and we send them to the truck to get things for us,” Lovell said.

Orientation for the Dularge training program is scheduled to begin on May 14. The juniors will participate in their own training program once a month and are allowed to sit in on the monthly training classes for the department’s volunteer firefighters.

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