Watertown Youths Learn What It’s Like to be a Firefighter

A cadet in the Middlesex Youth Public Safety Academy uses the fire hose as at Saltonstall Park.

Holding tightly to a real fire hose, a young camper from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety Academy shot a wide stream of water hundreds of feet across the field at Saltonstall Park on Wednesday morning.

The Watertown Fire Department welcomed 31 youngsters from town to show them what it is like to be a firefighter. The campers are part of the week-long summer camp, and later in the day they stopped by the Watertown Police Station to learn about what police officers do.

Watertown Fire Capt. Bob Power helps a camper use a fire hose.

Using a fire hose is a lot different from a garden hose. Watertown Fire Capt. Bob Power said the cadets got a feel for what new firefighters experience.

“Day one, with new recruits, we take them to a parking lot and use the hose,” Power said. “I tell them to imagine what it is like in a house. It will get kinked around corners, it’s dark, guys are yelling. It is chaos.”

The MIddlesex Sheriff Youth Public Safety Academy cadets got to go up in the Watertown Fire tower truck.

Meanwhile, another group of cadets took a ride into the sky on the Watertown Fire Department’s tower truck.

“Some of them will go all the way up to 100 feet,” said Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson.

Down in the basement of the Fire Station, the campers got to see how a thermal imaging camera works. The device is used in almost every fire incident to see where hot spots are, or to find a person.

Cadets from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety Academy look up at their fellow campers up on the fire ladder.

The camp is a low-cost, educational program presented by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. Campers learn safety skills, completing team and confidence-building exercises, and meeting public safety officials from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office as well as their hometown.

They are transported to and from Watertown, and are provided breakfast and lunch each day. Each week different communities participate, and in 2019, July 15-19 is Watertown’s week.

Learn more by visiting www.middlesexsheriff.org/ypsa.

A look up the Watertown Fire Department’s tower truck ladder, which can go as high as 100 feet.

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