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Passaic's First-Ever Jr. Fire Academy a Success

By JAMES WOOD, SR., Correspondent | August 23, 2021 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 090221102

PASSAIC, NJ - The Passaic Fire Dept., along with Mayor Hector C. Lora and Chief Patrick Trentacost, recently executed an initiative to provide quality, safe summer activities for Passaic youth.

Passaic's Jr. Firefighter Academy would be the first-ever in the City of Passaic. Kids from the ages of nine to 15 would work side-by-side with professional seasoned firefighters. Recruits would learn and perform firefighters' daily duties, from checking their personal protective equipment to training in fire suppression, search & rescue techniques, and fire safety education.

After months of discussion and preparations, they were finally ready on August 23rd. The morning began with the Jr. recruits rushing to assemble as instructors assisted them in accomplishing the correct formations. As the week went on, the formations were mastered. The Jr. recruits are now trained in fire safety, mock fire suppression and mock search & rescue operations. The recruits enjoyed the exercises and becoming proficient in them, as well as learning how to resolve problems as a unit. The instructors were pleased, and the feelings of success are contagious.

When asked “What do you think your recruits learned most in the Jr. Fire Academy?”, head instructor Lt. Jason Ayala answered, “Through the whole process the Jr. recruits learned the importance of team work, the ability to adapt and overcome. The Jr. recruits realized that together anything was possible.”

Chief Patrick Trentacost wanted to thank the many hands who made this Jr. Academy a huge success, including the Passaic Recreation and their counselors (Arnold Flores, Osiris Reyes, Lisangely Ruiz and Gilbely DeSala), Admin staff FF Britney Rawls and Toni Failla, and finally Lt. Jason Ayala and all the assistant instructors. Without them, this whole experience would not have been possible.

Congratulations to everyone on a job well done!

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.