National Junior Firefighter Program Advisory Committee holds inaugural meeting

The Advisory Committee for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program met for the first time on January 31 at the NVFC headquarters in Greenbelt, MD. The committee developed the criteria for the upcoming National Junior Firefighter Scholarship and Grant program as well as provided guidance and input as to the future direction of the National Junior Firefighter Program.

As part of the National Junior Firefighter Program, ten $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to junior firefighters nationwide who demonstrate commitment and dedication to their local junior firefighter program and the fire service. The departments of each of the winning students will also receive a grant of $5,000. The National Advisory Committee developed the criteria and application process for the competitive scholarships, which will be available by April 1. The deadline for applications is May 15. Stay tuned to the NVFC Web site at www.nvfc.org for more information.

The National Junior Firefighter Program was created by the NVFC and Spartan Motors, Inc. to help fire and EMS organizations nationwide develop, grow, and promote programs that encourage youth participation within the organizations. In addition, youth can use the Program to find out how to join a local fire, rescue, or EMS organization, keep track of their hours of service, and earn exciting rewards after spending a set number of hours helping their department. Launched in July 2007, the Program was recently awarded a grant by the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation to expand the Program to include a scholarship and grant component, a more sophisticated Web site with interactive database, stronger outreach efforts, and much more.

The Advisory Committee is comprised of NVFC Board Members Jeff Cash (NC), Allen Metheny (DE), and Jim Williams (NY); Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department’s (MD) junior firefighter coordinator Mike Barnett; Jesse Schlueter of the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation; and David Reid of Spartan Motors. In addition to members of the Committee, the meeting was attended by Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation representative David Kargas; Dave Iannone of the Hyattsville (MD) Volunteer Fire Department; Michelle Smith of the Hartly (DE) Volunteer Fire Company; and was facilitated by NVFC Executive Director Heather Schafer. Kimberly Ettinger and Amanda Ludholtz, NVFC staff members, also attended the meeting.

To learn more about the National Junior Firefighter Program, visit www.nvfc.org/juniors.

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