10 years of firefighter ‘day camp’
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Flags and faces bright under glowering skies, young participants in the Junior Fire Academy class of 2012 paraded down through Cold Spring Saturday (July 28) for their graduation, accompanied musically by the Hudson Highlands Pipe Band and escorted by Cold Spring Fire Company No. 1.
Gathering on the lawn of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, the youngsters responded to such commands as “ten hut!” with “yes sir!” and scrambled to get into formation. “Now, you guys are going to make me proud today, right?” one of their adult instructors called out. Another chorus of affirmations responded.
Trailed by parents and friends, they marched down Main Street, saluting as they passed the firehouse, and along Fair Street to Mayor’s Park. There the would-be firefighters acceded to one last request from their adult role models for “10 pushups” and a group portrait – “the last picture we’ll ever ask you to take!” Then they dispersed before a scheduled regrouping later in the morning at a reception at the Chalet on the Hudson.
Academy participants spend a week in a day camp, learning what firefighting, responding to emergencies and the promotion of safety entails. This was the 10th year for the popular program, which is sponsored by the Cold Spring Fire Company and Town of Philipstown Recreation Department.