DANVILLE – Fire companies around Danville are glad to see that spark is catching on…the growing number of young people getting involved in The Fire High School Club. Eric Frantz is a Mahoning Township firefighter, he said the club is catching on, they’re getting new members, they’ll have a constitution and elections soon, and they’ll keep on having training demonstrations.
“We’ve had a lot of interest, a lot of students have attended the events, we had three or four events that we conducted where we invited students to come observe and actually get hands on. We’re trying to get the kids involved in things that they’ve never experienced before,” he said.
Frantz says an issue facing the volunteer fire service in Pennsylvania is most firefighters are older and the younger generation isn’t replenishing the ranks. He says many of the students are learning for the first time about this kind of volunteerism, and the camaraderie that comes with volunteer firefighters becoming part of an family.
“You see it in the news and in the media, the brotherhood of firefighting, of course the sisterhood. We have a number of young ladies who are involved and that’s great. We have some chiefs around here who are female and they’re among the most knowledgeable and well-trained of the volunteer firefighters.”
He said the superintendent at Danville, Dr. Molly Nied, is 100% on board and is helping to shepherd the club into existence.
Frantz said any student, 14 or older, attending Danville schools, can be part of the Danville High School Fire Club.
State house member Michael Stender, a career firefighter, said he’s doing what he can to help expand the club to other schools.