Laura Bigelow of Volcano has completed Camp Fully Involved, a fire-fighting experience camp at the New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord. Bigelow and 14 other women ages 14-20 graduated from the program at ceremonies on Aug. 1.
“The CFI goal is to provide cadets with a comprehensive, intensive overview of the firefighting profession. It is a very physical, hands-on program that includes intense exercises allowing attendees to do things that they may never have done before nor do again. The young women gain a confidence and inner strength that comes through accomplishment and success, qualities that will serve them no matter what career path they choose,” said camp founder Lt. Jess Wyman, of Nashua Fire and Rescue.
Wyman wanted to develop an experience where young women could try firefighting as a potential future job. Wyman says the resident camp provides the young women who attend a “safe, dynamic, interactive and physically challenging environment to gain strength, develop knowledge of firefighting and build confidence and leadership skills.”
Participants this year include women from Canada, Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In recent years women from France, California, New York, Washington state and South Carolina have attended.
The camp staff is an all-volunteer group of female and male firefighters from many New England and New York communities.
The women are housed in a college-style dormitory that is part of the New Hampshire Fire Academy. Their activities over the week included familiarity with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), Mayday (life-saving) drills, moving hose lines, vehicle extrication, house fires, rappelling, wildfire fighting, dumpster fires, multi-story building fires, engine company attack, ladder company ventilation and search. It is all “brought together” in an intense team operation held at the New Hampshire Fire Academy Training site.
The New Hampshire Fire Academy is located in Concord, N.H., and is part of the N.H. Fire Safety and Training &Emergency Medical Service Division of the N.H. Department of Safety. For more information, visit www.campfullyinvolved.com.