Monday, July 24, 2023

Two Schuylkill County Junior Firefighters Graduate from Franklin County Junior Fire Academy

CHAMBERSBURG - The future of firefighting received a significant boost as two aspiring young firefighters, Paxton Swartz, 15, hailing from Ringtown, and Chase Carroll, 17, of Frackville, embarked on an intense and transformative 1-week Junior Fire Academy in Chambersburg. 

The commendable initiative was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Good American Fire Company in Mahanoy City, supporting Paxton, and Progress Fire Co. Station 32 Harrisburg, Dauphin County, backing Chase.

The Junior Fire Academy, held in Chambersburg, provided an intensive boot camp-style physical training, alongside comprehensive instruction in fundamental firefighting techniques. The aspiring cadets received valuable certifications in CPR and stop-the-bleed protocols, equipping them with essential lifesaving skills.

Throughout the week-long program, the young cadets delved into various aspects of firefighting, including fire dynamics, engine, and truck company operations, as well as crucial firefighter survival skills. As a part of their comprehensive training, the cadets had the incredible opportunity to visit the prestigious National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. On this special occasion, they observed a live burn, which was part of an arson investigation course, providing them with invaluable real-life insights into the challenges they may face in their future careers.

Each day at the academy began with physical training at 7:00am, where the cadets demonstrated their dedication and determination by completing an astounding 900 push-ups alongside rigorous two-mile runs and various full-body exercises.

The culmination of the Junior Fire Academy came on Saturday, July 22, 2023, with a formal graduation ceremony to honor the commitment and hard work exhibited by the cadets throughout the week. Proud parents, sponsors, and fellow firefighters gathered to celebrate this significant achievement, recognizing the potential and passion of these young individuals for the firefighting profession.

Chase and Paxton are both students at North Schuylkill.

Chase, who will be a Senior this coming school year, will be attending Harrisburg Area Community College for fire science and while attending college will be a live in at Progress Fire Company. He is a junior member of the Good Will Fire Company in Frackville.

Paxton will be a Sophmore at North Schuylkill and is a junior member of the Good Will Fire Company in Frackville and a junior member of the Good American Fire Company in Mahanoy City.

Story by J. Reed / Skook News
Photos submitted