NORWICH – Kaitlyn Parker, 16, of Norwich has graduated from Phoenix Firecamp, a weeklong overnight camp for teenage girls to explore opportunities for women in fire and emergency services through fireground hands-on training and classroom instruction. Kaitlyn Parker was one of 24 girls, ages 14-19, who were selected from a statewide pool of applicants. The camp is conducted annually by Fire Service Women of New York State (FSWNYS) in partnership with the Utica Fire Department.
The curriculum, based upon International Fire Service Training Association guidelines, teaches the basics of many fireground operations, including: engine and ladder apparatus and tools, nozzles, fittings, hydrants, ropes and knots, forcible entry, mask confidence, portable ladders, search and rescue, roof ventilation, auto extrication and disentanglement. The campers learn basic search techniques in a smoke trailer, climb an aerial ladder, are introduced to HazMat, participate in a water rescue drill and on the final day of hands-on training, bring all the skills together in engine and ladder company scenarios. In addition to other classroom exercises, the campers become certified in CPR. Their instructors are career and volunteer female firefighters from across the State who volunteer their time and pay their own expenses to conduct Phoenix Firecamp.