Fighting the fires of the future

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Scott Warner
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

MacDill’s first-ever Future Firefighters Club of America, is a Youth Center program that could change a child’s life forever.

After six months of planning, MacDill’s 6th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services Flight firefighters also joined the program to personally teach MacDill’s youth over the course of the year on different aspects of firefighting.

“I wanted to bring a rudimentary approach to becoming a firefighter for kids,” said Chris Hug, the Youth Center program director. “Kids have always been enamored with firefighting and hopefully, this program will spark a desire to go explore that career path.”

Each month, the kids who joined the program learned something different about firefighting. The month of October was about trucks and equipment.

“Last month was an introduction and a tour of the fire station and fire control dispatch center,” said Hug. “Next month will be how to progress in the career field and firefighter history.”

The ages of the kids who attend each month range from 9 to 18 years old.

“The importance of this club is that it teaches the firefighter career path to a younger generation,” said Tech. Sgt. Donald Walker, the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron lead fire inspector. “It also shows the importance of discipline and technical expertise to our community.”

Ultimately, this program gives kids an opportunity to fully immerse themselves into a specific career field they are interested in.

“Initially, we took a survey and we asked our kids what careers they were interested in,” said Hug. “Firefighting is one of those careers and this program gives us a unique opportunity to start mapping out goals for them to become a firefighter.”