Learning the ropes – or hoses – at Petrolia’s Firefighter Camp


Anni Rowe always thought she wanted to be a police officer but after spending a week at the Petrolia Junior Firefighters camp, she’s not so sure.

Rowe, a 14-year-old LCCVI student, was one of about 15 teens who spent three days learning about everything from firefighter safety to first aid to auto extraction.

“I was scared at first to come because I knew I would have no friends there, I thought I would be the only girl; it turns out I wasn’t. It was a great group to be with.”

Rowe says they quickly became a team, helping each other with tasks and she “didn’t want to let them down” during the exercises.

That’s exactly what the leader, Firefighter Jay Caruthers, wanted. “We’re trying to show them why teamwork is so important.”

Caruthers and his co-leader Atlee Williams demonstrated how to get the hoses ready for a fire, each unrolling and attaching the nozzles themselves and tearing everything down. It took about seven minutes to complete the exercise.

“We took seven minutes to do it and we know what we’re doing. That time could be cut in half with two people.” The junior firefighters working in teams were able to complete the task in just over four minutes.

That pleased Rowe and has her thinking about what career path she might take in the future.  “I wanted to be a police officer…now maybe I’ll do both.”