For the 5th year, the Elysburg Fire Department has once again hosted with great success the ‘Fire Cadet Weekend’.
This specially designed program gives local youth hands on experience and a sneak peak into the life of the emergency services. With all aspects covered including fire, rescue, medical and law enforcement, cadets spent 2 full days of activities. Life skills learned included CPR, fire extinguisher use, 911 dispatching, and much more. With 36 on the roster this year, the program has now graduated 145 cadets and over 1/3 of them are now active in their local fire department.
“The success of the program is definitely humbling,” expressed Asst. Chief Harvey Boyer, creator and coordinator of the program. “Not just the success of the program, but the people who come to volunteer their time for the youth, the words ‘thank you’ just don’t seem enough. We are definitely making a difference.”
With over 40 trained and professional responders and over 20 agencies involved, the cadets are put through a cadre of events in two days, wrapping up with a full graduation ceremony.
PA State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay was on hand this year as the guest speaker. In the past, local businesses have helped fund the event, but this year a SAFER grant was awarded to help boost the program.
Out of the 36 attendees, 14 are already active in a local department, but another number that is exciting is that 13 more in the program have said they want to join a junior corp in their area!
In the times of volunteer decline, Elysburg Fire may have found a way to help change the tide! In addition to the many volunteers, other agencies involved in the program include Danville Fire Dept., Warrior Run Fire Dept., DCNR, Northumberland County Public Safety, Elysburg EMS Services, Jeff’s Salvage and Auto Body, Geisinger Life Flight, PA State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay, K & S Music, Provident Insurance (Ed Mann), Ralpho-Locust-Mt.Carmel Twp. Police, PA State Police, Goshen Fire Dept., Seven Mountains Health Council, Overlook Fire Department and Lewistown City Hook and Ladder.