Willingboro Fire Department Completes Youth Fire Academy Class #4
 
By Firefighter Mark Robertson Sr.
August 14, 2017
 

Last month Willingboro Fire Department held its 4th annual Youth Fire Academy. Lt. Reed Costello was the lead instructor, with Firefighters Ron Priest and Bryan Riley serving as Instructors. Fire Fighter / EMT Robert Rosario volunteered a lot of his time and handled any medical issues that the cadets came down with. Fire Fighter Charles Sanderson, a 3 time graduate of the YFA, came back to serve as a Peer Mentor. 11 cadets graduated from the program which ran from July 10 – July 21.

They received classroom and hands on instruction on Personal Protective Equipment, Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, hose lines and nozzles, searching, forcible entry, ladders, ropes and knots, vehicle extrication, and Rapid Intervention Crew. The cadets underwent many of the same drills that firefighter trainees participate in at full-time fire academies across the country. Fitness evolutions took place in the afternoons and the cadets were challenged both physically and mentally.

The cadets went on a day trip to the pine barrens and spent time with representatives from the NJ Forest Fire service. They climbed the highest fire tower in the state at 125 feet, they dug fire line, practiced using a fire shelter and got a tour of aircraft that are used in wildland fire suppression. They also did a trip to the US Coast Guard base in Cape May where they met with fire fighters and got a tour of their station, vehicles and equipment. They then got a tour of the USCG Cutter Rollin Fritch and learned how they fight fires when they are alone, hundreds of miles off the coast. They also spent a day at the Burlington County ESTC and went through the smoke house and got to rappel off the high rise building.

On the day before graduation they went to New Your City and spent the morning at the 9/11 museum. The cadets were given an assignment the first week of the academy: to choose a New York City firefighter who had perished in the Twin Towers and learn about his background and find his name and / or picture when we visit the museum. Each cadet presented his / her findings to the class the morning of graduation. In the afternoon, the class went up to the Freedom Tower Observatory, 104 stories above the city.

Graduation was held on the afternoon of Friday, July 21st at the Kennedy Center. Family, friends, township officials, and employees showed up to cheer them on and show their support. All graduates received a certificate, a challenge coin, a patch and a gift card for the movies. Great job cadets, enjoy the rest of your summer, you earned it!

 
Firefighter Riley goes over the equipment of Ladder 1615 with the cadets
Firefighter Riley goes over the equipment of Ladder 1615 with the cadets
The cadets going up in the bucket of Ladder 1615
The cadets going up in the bucket of Ladder 1615
 
Starting the 60 Second Drill
Starting the 60 Second Drill
After the completion of the drill
After the completion of the drill
 
Lieutenant Friddell working with the cadets during vehicle extrication training
Lieutenant Friddell working with the cadets during vehicle extrication training
The cadets performing Rapid Intervention Training
The cadets performing Rapid Intervention Training
 
The cadets working with hoselines and nozzles
The cadets working with hoselines and nozzles
Ladder climbing is an essential skill for all firefighters
Ladder climbing is an essential skill for all firefighters
 
Search and Rescue training in the station's bunkroom
Search and Rescue training in the station's bunkroom
Push-ups during the physical fitness portion of the academy
Push-ups during the physical fitness portion of the academy
 
The highest NJ Forestry Service fire tower in the state at 125 feet
The highest NJ Forestry Service fire tower in the state at 125 feet
The cadets hearing about the different types of aerial firefighter apparatus used by the NJ Forestry Service
The cadets hearing about the different types of aerial firefighter apparatus used by the NJ Forestry Service
 
NJ Forestry Service personnel show the cadets how to create a fire break
NJ Forestry Service personnel show the cadets how to create a fire break
At the NJ Forestry Service equipment yard
At the NJ Forestry Service equipment yard
 
US Coast Guard Station in Cape May
US Coast Guard Station in Cape May
The cadets learning about the US Coast Guard's fire department
The cadets learning about the US Coast Guard's fire department
 
Taking a tour of the USCG Cutter Rollin Fritch
Taking a tour of the USCG Cutter Rollin Fritch
The different equipment of the US Coast Guard
The different equipment of the US Coast Guard
 
US Coast Guard and Youth Fire Academy cadets and staff
US Coast Guard and Youth Fire Academy cadets and staff
Staff and cadets in front of the USCG Cutter Rollin Fritch
Staff and cadets in front of the USCG Cutter Rollin Fritch
 
At the Freedom Tower in New York City
At the Freedom Tower in New York City
Remnants of the World Trade Center
Remnants of the World Trade Center
 
Inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum
Inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum
The remains of Fire Department of New York's Ladder 3
The remains of Fire Department of New York's Ladder 3
 
The "footprint" of an original World Trade Center tower
The "footprint" of an original World Trade Center tower
From the observatory at the Freedom Tower
From the observatory at the Freedom Tower
 
Chief of Department Burnett addresses those in attendance at the Youth Fire Academy graduation
Chief of Department Burnett addresses those in attendance at the Youth Fire Academy graduation
The cadets performing the 60 Second Drill for the graduation attendees.
The cadets performing the 60 Second Drill for the graduation attendees.
 
Youth Fire Academy instructors Rosario, Riley, and Priest (L to R)
Youth Fire Academy instructors Rosario, Riley, and Priest (L to R)
Congratulations to the cadets
Congratulations to the cadets