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Youth Fire Camp for high school students returns to Qualicum Beach

One-week camp introduces students to fire, emergency services
Youth Fire Camp participants learn all aspects of firefighting as well as other emergency services in a controlled environment. (Qualicum Beach Fire Rescue photo)

Spring break could be a life-changing experience for some teens.

Youth Fire Camp in Qualicum Beach is a one-week live-in program for Grade 11 and 12 students, that introduces students to fire and emergency services.

The camp runs for seven days, from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. The cadets are housed in the fire station in male and female barracks. The scheduled activities include physical fitness, hands-on firefighting equipment training, team-building exercises, presentations from other emergency services including police, paramedics and search and rescue. The instructors for the camp are all experienced fire service professionals from fire departments within District 69.

Since 2004, more than 200 youth have received hands-on training in CPR, ladders, fire extinguisher use, auto extrication, rope rescue and leadership skills, says the Qualicum Beach Fire Rescue website.

“Fire Camp opened my eyes to a career in emergency services. I learned how rewarding it is to be part of a team and push myself,” says Alex Rushton, a Fire Camp cadet in 2004 and a member for the QBFD from 2006 to 2011.

“The camp led me to join QBFD as a volunteer firefighter. I even got to help instruct future Fire Camps so other youth could experience it. Today I am a part of Calgary Fire Department and a member of the Technical Rescue Team. I am constantly reminded of how my training and time with QBFD set me up for a successful and safe career.”

After graduating from the program, students earn career credit towards graduation and an opportunity to apply to their local fire departments as junior members.

The program will run from March 19-25. The $100 fee covers camp clothing and personal protective equipment, meals, and a banquet dinner. Cadets must supply their own steel-toed boots.

Application and information packages are available for the career centers at both Kwalikum and Ballenas Secondary schools. Applications close Jan. 20. For more information visit the Qualicum Beach fire department’s webpage at or contact the fire department at 250-752-6232.

Students attending Youth Fire Camp will learn different aspects of firefighting and other emergency services. (Qualicum Beach Fire Rescue photo)