Camp 911: Youth in the heat of the action in Compton

Camp 911: Youth in the heat of the action in Compton
Camp 911: Youth in the heat of the action in Compton

COMPTON. Thanks to Camp 911, twelve teenagers from the Coaticook region were able to discover the world of emergency professions for a week.

“It’s a real immersion into the world of firefighters, ambulance drivers and police officers,” explains Émile Rivard, fire prevention technician at the Coaticook MRC and camp manager. “We visited the three fire stations in Coaticook, Compton and Waterville. The ambulance drivers learned some resuscitation techniques and how to provide certain care in the event of burns or broken limbs. There was even an employee from the call centre who came to let us hear some of the distress calls they receive. With the police officers, this year, an explosives technician explained his work. It was fascinating. We don’t always get the chance to see them at work.”

As usual, the participants at this summer event put together a big simulation to put into practice the knowledge learned throughout the camp, which took place this week (July 1 to 5). In sweltering heat, the young firefighters had to put out a fire inside a farm building on Côté Road in Compton. Their ambulance colleagues rescued people affected by the smoke, while the police questioned curious onlookers and then arrested a suspect.

“THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO LATER”

David Garant may only be 13, but his experience at Camp 911 has confirmed that it’s a career he wants to pursue in the future. “I want to be a police officer,” he says with determination. “I really enjoyed it and learned a lot when they told us about this job.”

Unlike his colleague, Louis-Philippe Rodrigue had no knowledge of this world before registering for the event. “My mother told me about the camp and I decided to participate. I discovered that I had skills in certain areas that I didn’t know I had. Physically, I was able to push my limits, even when I had to carry heavy equipment and it was very hot,” says the man who participated in the major simulation as a paramedic.

Jacob Blouin also enjoyed his experience at Camp 911. “Later, I want to be a firefighter in a big city so I can be called to the scene more often,” says the 13-year-old.

Christophe Lafortune was on his second major simulation. “I really had the experience that I wanted to do it again this year,” he explained.

Note that Camp 911 is possible thanks to the collaboration of the three fire departments in the region, namely those of Coaticook, Compton and Waterville, the Sûreté du Québec as well as Ambulances Coaticook – Dessercom. Its organizers hope to see it return next year.

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