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Becoming a junior firefighter

Andrew Meyer, left, and his brother Paul, a

Andrew Meyer, left, and his brother Paul, a captain of the West Babylon Junior Fire Department. Photo Credit: Michelle Meyer

Being a firefighter is hard work. Before firefighters can walk into a burning building, they need training. New people who join the fire department are called probationary firefighters. The experienced firefighters make the probies do extra cleaning around the firehouse and extra work when needed. My brother is going to be my captain when I join the Junior Fire Department. I will be the new guy there, so they will make me do extra work.

The company I want to join is called engine company. This is the group that handles the water at the fires. They are the ones who go into the fire first. They put out the fire. Engine company firefighters can do all sorts of things. They wear a breathing apparatus called a Scott air pack. They wear full head gear so they don’t get burned.

The truck company has the ladders. They get up to the top floors and do the venting process. Venting is when they break windows and pop holes in the roof for a bailout and so the heat and smoke can escape.

The rescue company is not the same as the other companies. They respond to car accidents, house fires and disturbance calls.

I want to do this because I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps. In my town, you can start as a junior firefighter when you are 11. My brother is 15, and he has risen to the rank of captain. You should join a program in your town if they have one.

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