St. Augustine Fire Department offering ‘Spark the Flame’ fire camp for girls

(St. Augustine Fire Department)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — At Monday’s City Commission meeting, St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles announced “Spark the Flame,” the department’s first-ever free empowerment firefighting camp for girls.


The camp is meant to provide young girls with an understanding of the fire service, promote discussions about women’s roles in firefighting, foster confidence and teamwork skills and inspire and empower its participants.

Campers will get to participate in many physical challenges specifically designed to simulate real-life firefighting scenarios. These activities include learning how to handle and control a fire hose, operate a nozzle to control water flow, search and rescue exercises and climbing and rappelling techniques.

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Students will also learn about essential firefighting skills, such as ventilation and forcible entry, and will get to practice these skills under the guidance of real firefighters.

The camp also offers physical training, led by a team of female firefighters, which is an essential component of the firefighting profession. This will help them build strength and endurance, which are critical for performing the physically demanding tasks of firefighting.

“‘Spark the Flame’ is committed to nurturing the self-confidence of the young girls who attend the camp. Our aim is to provide an environment that empowers them to realize their full potential and encourages them to be the best version of themselves, both during their time at camp and beyond,” Chief Aviles said.

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Hannah Riederich is a firefighter with the St. Augustine Fire Department and is one of the event organizers.  She said, “We believe that by inspiring and setting positive examples for young girls, we can help shape the trajectory of their lives in a positive direction. Our hope is that by providing this opportunity to young girls in our community, they all have the chance to reach their full potential.”

“Spark the Flame” is a free event for all who attend. Camp registration is open on Saturday, April 13, at 8 a.m. at the Main Station, located at 101 Malaga Street.  Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Camp will be held on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit www.CityStAugFire.com for registration details and application forms. For additional information about “Spark the Flame,” contact the St. Augustine Fire Department at 904-825-1098.

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