District to hold three ‘bootcamps’ this summer
BATTLE GROUND — Fire-Up Bootcamp’s mission is personal: it seeks to create a more inclusive and diverse fire service by exposing women, people of color and individuals from different socio-economic backgrounds to firefighting as a profession.
In 2018, the National Fire Protection Association reported that 96 percent of career firefighters are men, and 82 percent are white. Clark County Fire District 3 Assistant Chief Barbara Widlund says the current demographics show a need to recruit candidates that reflect the different populations served by emergency service agencies across the country.
“It’s important we reach out to groups that aren’t traditionally recruited for the fire service yet represent the communities we serve,” said Chief Widlund. “Fire-Up Bootcamp provides an opportunity for interested parties to learn about emergency services as a profession, and decide if they want to move forward with it as a career.”
The nonprofit is hosting three “bootcamps” this summer. Men of color are invited to a training camp July 18-19 at Portland Community College. There are two camps planned for women: June 27-28 at Clark County Fire District 3 (Hockinson, Wash.) and August 15-16 at Hillsboro Fire’s Training Facility (Hillsboro, Ore.). Those interested can register on the website at www.fireupbootcamp.com.
Participants have the opportunity to go through daily work firefighters experience, such as using hydraulic tools to extricate victims of motor vehicle accidents, pulling fire hose lines, connecting hoses to fire hydrants, and breaking down doors. In 2019, Fire-Up Bootcamp had 16 participants. Ten have gone on to pursue a career in the fire service. There are 20 positions available for each camp this year.
Interested in supporting diversity and inclusion, but don’t want to pull hose? Donations and sponsorships are accepted and 100 percent tax deductible. Send your contribution to Fire-Up Bootcamp, PO Box 117, Cornelius, OR 97113-8813. You can also make a contribution with a credit card through PayPal on the nonprofit’s website.
Information provided by Clark County Fire District 3.