South Lebanon Fire Department offers a junior firefighting program which gives teens ages 16 and 17 opportunities to give back to their community and gain real-world experience that can be applied in other areas.

Junior firefighting program participants are not permitted to enter burning buildings, but can assist at the scene of an emergency by running hoses, positioning ladders, and collaborating with other first responders.

All junior firefighters are under the direct supervision of experienced firefighters, and can even use their volunteer experience as hours toward senior projects.

“I’ve learned so many life skills that I can use in other areas. Most importantly, adaptability and organization skills,” said former junior firefighter Ian Mann, 18, in the release by SLFD. “The world is constantly changing, and we have to adapt to those changes.”

“It feels really good to know I’m learning skills to keep my friends and family safe,” said Mailyn Klick, 16. “I’ve learned common fire hazards, and how to correct them to make it safer.”

“Our junior firefighters work hard and are an incredible asset at the scene of any emergency,” said Friendship Fire Company President Robert Donley in the release. “Many of them go on to become firefighters once they turn 18, and are prepared to excel throughout their firefighting certifications. They show up each day with dedication, and it truly pays off for them.”

South Lebanon Fire Department is made up of three companies: South Lebanon Fire Company #1, Friendship Fire Company, and Prescott Community Fire Company. The junior firefighters from each company collaborate when SLFD hosts training sessions, and at recruitment events.

The fire department currently seeks both teen and adult volunteers, with more information available at FightSouthLebanonFires.org.

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