Teen training to work with firefighters


July 29, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A FEW MORE months of specialized training and 16-year-old Josh Spicer will be able to respond to fire calls, to work shoulder to shoulder with experienced firefighters many years his senior.

He has wanted to fight fires for a long time. Four years ago, after the sixth grade, Josh became a junior firefighter at Manchester Fire Engine & Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1.

"I always liked firetrucks," he said, "and I wanted in."

As a junior firefighter, he has taken classroom and hands-on training, advancing into the senior group that trained a few weeks ago at Carroll County Fire Training Center in Westminster.

"In full turnout gear, we used ladders. We ran the maze, which means pulling hoses through the burning building. We used fans and tried the [hazardous materials] gear while blindfolded," he said.

"As a junior, you do a lot. You wash down equipment and hose lines, or after an accident, wipe up," Josh said.

Stop by the Manchester fire company, 3209 Main St., and most likely you'll find Josh helping where it's needed.

"I'm always on duty," he says. "I'm what you call a live-in."

A North Carroll High School student, he plans to complete his fire training through a daily vocational course called Firefighter 1, complete with a midterm and a final exam.

Then he'll go to the firehouse Tuesday and Thursday evenings for hazardous materials training. With those courses under his belt, he'll be able to respond to fire calls instead of waiting at the firehouse.

He also has his eye on courses on truck operation and emergency medical techniques.

About 15 junior firefighters assist the Manchester company, which always needs more teens.

"Now that I know everyone, I hang out with the big guys," he said. "It's a lot of fun."

Information: Manchester Fire Engine & Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, 410-239-2286.

Workshop, cattails

Illustrator Mary Ellen Didion, known for drawings of insects and plant life, will teach a workshop from 10 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. Saturday at Bear Branch Nature Center.

Art supplies will be included in the registration fee. The cost is $15 for nature center members and $20 for nonmembers. Didion will show how a naturalist's notebook is created. Participants should bring a bag lunch.

Also Saturday, children age 8 and older are invited to Lake Hashawha at 9: 30 a.m. for an hour of cattail toy-making. In the style of Native American children, Tina Shupp will teach how to construct floating toys of cattail plants and lead a race with them.

Registration is $2 for members, $3 for nonmembers.

Information: 410-848-2517.

Labor Day bike ride

For 20 years, the Hanover Cyclers bicycle club has staged a Labor Day Century Ride. It's time to sign up for this year's event, which begins at 6: 30 a.m. Sept. 7 at South Street Recreation Park, McSherrystown, Pa.

Previous rides have attracted several hundred bicyclists for a route through beautiful countryside between McSherrystown and Gettysburg.

A century ride is for bike enthusiasts who challenge themselves to ride 100 miles. The club offers marked rides for 100 miles and almost 40 miles.

It also offers 50-mile and 25-mile rides for those who want fun without the serious training necessary for long rides. League of American Bicyclists release forms and helmets are required.

Food stops are offered on all but the 25-mile ride. Drinks, healthy snacks and hand-dipped ice cream are offered at the pavilion afterward.

Cue sheets, road maps, patrol service and food stops are included in the $10 registration fee.

Children younger than age 16 ride free. T-shirts and embroidered patches are available for an additional fee.

Information: Bob Nordvall, 33 E. Lincoln Ave., Gettysburg, Pa. 17325.

Pub Date: 7/29/98

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