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Three young Lake Country students become fire chiefs for a day

Department’s program helps raise awareness of fire safety in the district

Three lucky students and their families got to ride to school in style Thursday morning, as part of Fire Prevention Week.

The annual Fire Chief For A Day kicked off with a free breakfast at the Wooden Nickel Cafe, before the trio, Oyama Traditional School Grade 3 student Jaya, Davidson Road Elementary Grade 3 student Dezirae and Peter Greer Elementary Grade 2 Eli student and their families rode in fire trucks from each of the three Lake Country fire halls.

The students were taken from their homes in the fire trucks to the cafe where they have breakfast, were presented a t-shirt and a certificate and then are driven to school.

“Their class usually comes out to greet them, one fire truck to goes to each of the three schools,” said Lake Country fire chief Steve Windsor.

Many of the of students want to be firefighters, and one woman told Windsor her son was a part of the event 25 years ago, said the fire chief.

“I think with all of our programs, kids really love fire trucks and it makes it exciting. Some of these kids have difficulties, whether in school or life and the school will often pick somebody that maybe needs a bit of a boost. So it puts them on a pedestal,” he said.

Windsor said it’s impossible to track just how many kids have climbed inside the department’s fire trucks over the years.

This week alone— not including Fire Chief For A Day—involved 60 to 80 kids as firefighters visited area preschools and schools, he said.

The fire department is involved with a variety of school programs in the district, including fire safety when you’re home alone for Grade 3 students and a basic firefighter training course for Grade 12 students.

“We’ll often get applications from people who participated in that program and many go on with the B.C. Ambulance Service or even the RCMP,” said Windsor. “So it’s not that you go through our program and you have to be a firefighter. It lends itself to emergency services if you go in that direction as a career path.“

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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