NLFD Juniors

A Day in the Life of a NLFD Junior!

Cecilia Sesto, Staff Writer

How I Started

My dad has been in the fire house for 17 years and when I turned 11 he asked if I wanted to join the NFLD Juniors. When I joined my sister was captain of the NLFD Juniors, by the first year I was in I was already C.P.R. certified and the secretary. Now i have been a junior for four years and by the beginning of December i will be captain.  As captain, I have to show everybody how to put on a scott pack (the air tanks we use in a fire), how to hit a hydrant (term we use when we hook the fire engine to the hydrant), what all the tools do, and how to use them etc. Every Sunday at 10am we go into our office and sign in. Then, we go to the truck house, put our gear on and get ready for our drills. 


We usually do a new drill every week. Some include forcible entry. That is when we use the set of irons (a halligan which is a specialized tool and flat headed axe) to pry a door open. Another drill we learned was how to cut open cars in case of an accident using the jaws of life.  Another drill I like is the radio drill. This is when we are wearing all of our gear and we black out our masks so we cannot see anything. The whole point of this drill is to communicate on the radios and try and find the dummies.  We do a lot of the same drills that the firemen do. We also have fun drills.  Even though they are fun, they are still teaching us things. One drill is a barrel fight. This is fun because we get a big barrel, fill it with some water and lay it on its side. Then we take two hoses and pick teams. The object of the drill to get the barrel to roll kind of like a tug of war. That’s fun because we get soaked when we do it. That teaches us basic hose  handling skills. Another fun thing is we get all our gear on and then put on our air tanks (we call them packs) and play dodge ball. That’s a lot of fun because well, it’s dodgeball. That teaches us how to move with all the extra gear on and it also teaches us how to control our breathing because there’s a limited amount of air in those tanks. The purpose of being a junior is to prepare us to become firefighters.  Right now, we lost a few juniors to the fire department because they turned 17. One of the benefits of being a junior is that we can join the fire house at 17 instead of 18. By the time we get in, we have all the basic skills and can start responding to alarms.


There are different companies in the department that do specific jobs. For instance, there is an engine company. Those are the firefighters that put fires out; they have a fire engine. The fire engine has a pump, a tank filled with water and different hoses to fight fires. Then there is the truck company. The truck company uses the fire trucks with the big ladders on them. Those firefighters go in ahead of the hoses and do searches. They look for the fire, tell the engine where the fire is and once they get water on the fire they go look for victims. There is also a rescue company; those firefighters do other jobs like cutting cars apart to get victims out of crashed cars. And finally there is an ambulance company which does all the EMS or ambulance calls. The ambulance companies are the busiest because there are a lot more EMS calls than fire calls.


We also do community service. Some of the things we do are parades. Those are fun because we walk down the street and all our friends come out and wave at us. (I hate it because I look like a little boy in my uniform.) We ride along with the warrior ride in the summer and all the cyclists are on the streets and we send fire trucks to go with them and we use our ladder truck to hang a giant flag at the end of the ride. That is glorious!!! Another fun thing we do is Santa’s ride. Santa goes on the fire trucks and rides around the neighborhood. That is fun because it’s an all day thing and we have a great time and all the residents of the town come out and thank us for our service. 


I’m proud to be part of the volunteer fire department because like my father and sister, we are always helping our community and let’s be honest, what’s cooler than riding in a fire truck?