Kids get behind the scenes look in Fayette Co. Fire Camp

Fayette County Fire/EMS Lt. Donnie Davis uses CPR dummies to teach chest compression techniques to Fire Camp participants. Photo/John Munford.

More than a dozen children got a behind the scenes look at the Fayette County Fire Department during the first-ever “fire camp” last week.

The 16 participants ages 8 to 14 also got a lesson on CPR using practice mannequins and were shown how to use an AED (automatic external defibrillator) for cardiac emergencies.

Starting with an unconscious person on the ground, the group was taught to first see if the victim is just asleep or disoriented. The idea is to startle them with loud noise, and if they don’t respond, send someone to call 911.

The students practiced CPR technique on mannequins and were reminded that the 911 operator can provide them with instructions over the phone if they are nervous and can’t remember them.

The students also learned how to properly use a fire extinguisher by use of a special simulator.

After all, as Fire Lt. Donnie Davis said, “Some of them might become firemen or paramedics some day.”

Davis also explained the need to create emergency exit routes in one’s home in case of a fire or other emergency, and he reminded the children that safety ladders can be deployed through windows on upper floors to help reach the ground safely.

The group visited the county’s 911 communications center where they learned about how emergency vehicles for fire, EMS and law enforcement are dispatched. At the 911 center they also heard recorded calls to demonstrate what goes on behind the scenes to get the fire trucks and ambulances rolling.

The children also took a tour of fire department headquarters before eating lunch provided by the south Fayetteville Chick-fil-A.

Public Safety Director Allen McCullough said the fire camp is part of the organization’s goal to have a positive impact on the community.

“This is another means for the department to be involved in the community, to spread the message of fire safety, accident prevention and preparedness,” McCullough said. “These campers could take any skill they learn today and save a life or property tomorrow or next week.”

The program was a partnership between the county fire and recreation departments. The hope is to expand the effort to three or more days next year.

Davis said he was pleased with the number of students participating and they hope to grow the program over the years. The class was an idea that began several years ago and was aided by input from the Forsyth County Fire Department, Davis said.

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