Teams of teen volunteer firefighters and EMTs with Hopewell Fire Department & EMU, Pennington Fire Company, and Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad will demonstrate their skills at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the 2017 Junior Challenge. The public is invited to this free event, which will be held in the parking lot of the Pennington Quality Market, Rt. 31 and Delaware Avenue, Pennington.
The friendly competition will require the teen volunteers to use the skills they have learned at practice drills and on emergency scenes alongside full firefighters. They will have to assess a life-like emergency situation, perform CPR and use an AED, and prepare a “victim” for transport. Firehose “bowling” will test their speed and accuracy in unfurling hoses, and another competition in which teams will try to push a medicine ball into each other’s goal will test their ability to pinpoint the water stream. The Junior competitors will also have to quickly and correctly don fire turnout gear and maneuver through a stud wall.
Junior firefighters/EMTs do almost everything that full members of Hopewell Valley’s fire and EMS units do. They practice skills right alongside the older, full-members during drill nights. They assist on emergency scenes. They are a vital part of the volunteer fire and emergency service in Hopewell Valley.
In addition to allowing them to showcase the skills they have learned, this friendly and fun competition allows Juniors from all Valley fire and EMT units to forge friendships with each other, said Hopewell Fire Department & Emergency Medical Unit firefighter and EMT Olivia Obst. “We often respond on calls together with other departments, and these relationships help us to quickly form a team and all work together for a common goal,” Obst said.
Fellow Hopewell Fire Department volunteer and Junior Challenge organizer Chris Jones said many of the full members of Hopewell Fire Department, Pennington Fire Company, Union Fire Company, and Pennington First Aid Squad will attend the event.
“The competition is a bit of a proving ground, where they can show the senior members they have the skills it takes,” Jones said.
The event is also a great opportunity for teens or adults interested in become a volunteer firefighter or EMT to learn more about it. Alternatively, visit www.ProtectHopewellValley.com.