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Firefighter in a High School Program

Chatham-Kent Fire & Rescue has partnered with Lambton-Kent District School Board to offer a career exploration program. The first Stop, Drop, This is How We Roll career exploration initiative took place this semester at Ridgetown District High School. 

The initiative is aimed at giving students the opportunity to connect with first responders. A representative from CKFR presented each week to the grade 10 Civics & Careers class and then spent the lunch hour with students. Representatives ranged from the training department to volunteer firefighters, who are also employed with EMS, CK Police, etc. This showcased all types of first responders.

“Firefighters hold a cherished position within their communities, especially our younger people,” explains Fire Chief Chris Case. “Through this initiative, we are seeking to engage our young people, offer them opportunities, and provide guidance to keep them safe.”

The role of the program is to provide support to the school community as a whole, which includes students, parents, school staff, and administrators. The roles and responsibilities include public safety, and emergency services-related education, relationship building and positive role modeling, community liaison, and problem-solving.

“We are grateful to Chief Case and CK Fire & Rescue for bringing this program to RDHS, which has given our Careers class students multiple opportunities to interact and engage with local first responders, who have shared their experiences and demonstrated both equipment and job expectations.  (These opportunities were also provided to any grade 7-12 students who wanted to learn more during their lunch breaks.)  For example, students were able to try on the full protective gear of a firefighter to see what it was like, and students were also able to use the “jaws of life” in a simple task that showed them the precision of the necessary movements.  Having the chance to ask all kinds of questions and interact with ambulances, fire trucks, and, more importantly, personnel who are doing these jobs, gave students an in-depth perspective about these prospective career pathways and substantially enhanced their learning and engagement.  An informal survey of students provided the following responses: 100% thought this program was worthwhile, 100% supported bringing this program to other schools and 57% would consider one of these career pathways in the future.”

For additional information, please contact:

Whitney Burk

Fire Public Educator

Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services