The rush of running to the scene of a burning structure has typically been the experience of men.
But a camp is introducing the thrill to young women across the province to inspire a new generation of female firefighters to join the ranks.
Camp Ignite welcomes female youth between the ages of 15 and 18 who are Canadian citizens and live in B.C.
Participants are sponsored by their local municipal fire departments.
This year Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue is sponsoring Emily Jakeway, who was one of three applicants for the program.
Geoffrey Spriggs, the new deputy fire chief at the department, described her as a bright young girl who is quite an athlete.
Jakeway is a Maple Ridge Secondary School student who will be going into Grade 12 this fall. In Grade 11 she achieved a 4.0 GPA.
She is very involved in the local hockey and lacrosse communities. Twice she played on Team B.C. for box lacrosse and won national titles both times.
She has also played with the Ridge Meadows Rustlers for many years before she switched to afemale hockey team that won a provincial championship.
Jakeway has received a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, which is an international program where young people between the ages of 14 and 24 are challenged to complete a personal challenge that is non-academic, nor competitive. She is currently working towards completing a silver-level award.
Her hobbies include woodworking and painting.
Jakeway has a passion for team work and would like to eventually work in an exciting environment, said Spriggs, one that is physically active and where she can devote herself to serving the community.
These passions have led her to consider a career in firefighting, noted Spriggs.
This year Camp Ignite takes place August 14 and 15, with no overnight stay. It is only two days instead of the typical four because of COVID restictions. Day one will be in Vancouver and day two in North Vancouver.
“It will be more of the fun stuff,” said Spriggs about the shortened camp. More hands on with tools and the firefighting, rescue aspect of the career, he added.
Participants, who are typically in Grades 11 and 12, not only learn about firefighting as a career, but also about fitness, nutrition, health and teamwork.
In the past the campers had the chance to try different aspects of the job including auto-extrication, hazmat operations, technical rope rescue operations, and other tools and skills needed in the fire service.
According to the Camp Ignite website, women only represent 4 per cent of the fire service across the globe.
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