By Pam Dudding
Children are incredibly smart. Science proves that the wisdom one is fed from an early baby until about 21 will more than likely remain in them forever.
The Craig Creek Volunteer Fire Department is leaning on this old-time wisdom and inspiring teens who have an interest in the Fire Department to join their Junior Fire Department, as well as other departments that teenagers live by.
At the August Demolition Derby, four Junior Teens arrived early to be a part of this service, and they all said they’re glad they did so.
Carly Allen, 13, shared that she “started since I was a baby.” Her sister, Catherine Allen, added that she has been at the VFD since she was little too. Their dad, Ronnie Allen, is on the CCVFD. “I actually like doing this,” Carly said. Added both sisters, “We mainly help around the station, clean and with fundraisers.”
Chris Matheney, 15, is the son of CCVFD Chief Shawn Matheney and the brother of the Assistant Chief.
Douglas Yeisley, 13, joined only a couple of months. He was dressed in full gear and assisted the team from the moment their boots hit the fairgrounds. His enthusiasm was contagious.
“This is something I really like to do,” Yeisley stated while staying attentive to the job at hand. He was there as soon as they were asked to fire up the hoses onto the derby ring.
“We encourage teenagers to join the Junior Fire Department,” Shawn said. “Currently we have six juniors, and one is 16 and eligible to take the class.”
Starting in November, there will be a Fire Fighter 1 class for all persons, ages 16 and up.
This Junior Fire Department Class is for all of Craig County’s Fire Departments. Likely, it will be a three-to-four-month class, every Tuesday and Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and possibly some Saturdays.
“It’s probably been 10 years since the last FF1 class was held in Craig, and will be a while before another one,” Shawn explained. “Now is a good time if anyone has been on the fence about joining a local fire department in their area.”
They are opening it to anyone, even outside the county of Craig. It will be held at the New Castle Fire Department, Station 4.
To sign-up or ask questions, contact Shawn at [email protected] or contact either (540) 588-7158 or any chief of the other fire departments.
Yeisley added, “I like coming out to the derbies and stuff and getting to pull hoses and getting to do a ton of the fun stuff with the department.”
The Bible adds to this service as it states, “And the young will lead them.”
As these younger ones start volunteering at such a young age, the departments look forward to seeing more adults join in to be a part of comm-UNITY, serving in their local fire departments.