Newcomer youth learn firefighter, paramedic skills at week-long camp

Newcomer youth learn firefighter, paramedic skills at week-long camp

Kids from newcomer families got a chance to see what it’s like to be a firefighter or paramedic last week.

They were part of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service’s annual Equity and Diversity Camp, which welcomes newcomer youth into its training academy and teaches them a variety of skills.

“A lot of people are kind of in the dark when they see an ambulance roll by or a firetruck. They think, where are they going?,” said Doug Sinclair, public education coordinator for Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

Doug Sinclair is the public education coordinator for Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. (Justin Fraser/CBC )

“So basically what it does is it kind of showcases what we actually do as a profession.”

Eleven youth aged 15 to 18 participated in the camp, who all came from a variety of different countries, including Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, India, and Pakistan.

Sinclair called them a durable group who’ve adapted well to the skills they’ve been shown.

The youth learned a variety of skills and were exposed to different scenarios Winnipeg’s firefighters, paramedics, and WFPS communication operators encounter on a daily basis. (Justin Fraser/CBC )

“Youth are resilient. Some of these newcomers have gone through a lot in their lives,” he said.

“We’ve talked to some of the youth through the course of the week and some have left their countries because of war, things like that. You hear the stories and its quite alarming. So it doesn’t surprise me, because they’re resilient.”

The hope is that some of the youth may consider a career with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service in the future. (Justin Fraser/CBC )

The hope is that some of the youth may choose to pursue a career with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service down the road.

“Increasing diversity within the WFPS is an important goal for us and the annual Equity and Diversity Camp is a wonderful way for us to engage with newcomer youth about the benefits of a career in firefighting, paramedicine or emergency telecommunications,” said fire-paramedic chief John Lane in a press release about the camp.

The camp has been running for eight years.

Published at Sun, 12 Aug 2018 10:53:42 -0400