Camp provides look at life of a first responder

Camp provides look at life of a first responder

A lot of kids will tell you they want to grow up to be fire fighters or police officers, and all this week in Lehigh County, some of them have been learning what those jobs are really all about.

"This is the culmination of a week-long emergency services camp that was sponsored for kids in South Whitehall Township and the surrounding area," said Chris Peischl, director of operations for Cetronia Ambulance.

It's a crash course on what life is like for a first responder, detailing, according to firefighter Justin Daly, of the Woodlawn Fire Department, "all the different facets of what fire service, EMS and police do."

Seventeen kids from Lehigh, Berks and Northampton counties spent the week walking a mile in the shoes and the gear of their local heroes. Many of those kids, including 13-year-old Korbin Greaser, found that gear a little cumbersome.

"I had a little trouble with my turnout pants," he explained.

Friday was graduation day for the participants, who didn't get much time to rest on their laurels. Rami Zetkoff of Fleetwood explained what they were up against:

"We went through an obstacle course. We had to get a dummy out of the smoke house, do 30 compressions on him for CPR and run through the police course," he said.Through it all, some of the trainees may have found their true calling.

"I kind of want to volunteer for Cetronia when I'm 14," said 14-year-old Matthew Haas.

Even if they never end up pursuing careers in emergency services, they just might have a new respect for the men and women who do.

"I admire them very much," said Zetkoff. "They stop whatever they're doing and they go out to save someone's life."

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