Part two in a series on ZAC Camp at Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich
A highlight of the first day of ZAC Camp at the Boys & Girsl Club of Greenwich was a bit of show-and-tell with members of the Greenwich Fire Department.
After Fire Chief Peter Siecienski joined in the welcome of 117 campers Monday morning, the children rotated through three stations: swim lesson, classroom time, and a session outdoors with members of the Greenwich Fire Dept.
Fire fighters Constantino and Bataille each demonstrated the process of putting on their uniforms and gear, one for fire fighting, one for cold water rescue.
Beside a gleaming red ladder truck, Assistant Fire Chief Robert Kick told children how important it is for them to memorize their address, just in case they ever need to call 911.
“If you’re hurt, you call the ambulance. If there’s a burglar you call the police. If there’s a fire, you call the Fire Department,” he clarified. “If it’s a cat up a tree, don’t call 911, but you can have your parents call us. They’ll know what to do.”
Mr. Kick said that fighter Constantino’s full gear weighed a whopping 75 lbs and that the brings bottles attached to her gear each contain 30 minutes worth of air. When the children asked what she does if she runs out, he explained that there are warning lights that let her know in time if she’s running low.
Fire fighter Bataille put on a cold water suit, which Assistant Fire Chief Kick said is also called an “exposure suit.” After everyone agreed Mr. Bataille’s gear made him resemble Gumby, he talked about cold water rescue events.
Demonstrating the use of ice picks, he showed the pair of bright orange plastic tools that each have a retractable metal pick inside. Bataille said the picks help him get a grip so he can pull himself across slippery ice in a rescue situation.
Mr. Bataille explained that his exposure suit is buoyant so that even if he tried to dive, he would pop back up.
Mr. Kick reminded the children how important it is never to go out on the ice in the winter. “If an animal falls through the ice, call us,” he said, adding that deer go through the ice quite often. “Don’t ever try to go out onto the ice to protect an animal,” he said. “It’s safe for us, but not for you. If your dog falls through the ice, call 911.”
Next, Mr. Kick and the members of the Greenwich Fire Department talked about the ladder truck. He explained that the ladder extends six or seven stories high, for a total of about 95 ft. The hose emits 1,500 gallons of water a minute — enough to knock a person over — and three fire fighters can fit in the “bucket” at the top of the ladder.
Mr. Kick said that when the ladder is folded into the resting position on the truck they call it “in its bed.”
After climbing inside the “bucket” Mr. Bataille showed the children the firefighters’ tools, which included an axe, they use to break through a burning building.
“Sometimes we have to do damage to buildings to save people,” Mr. Kick explained to the children.