Tyler Barrett
Tyler Barrett

Savannah Fire Department hosts new summer camp to ignite girls’ passion for firefighting

Updated July 4, 2023 at 9:57 p.m.

Firefighting has long been an industry dominated by men, and while that’s not inherently a bad thing, Savannah Fire Department is doing its part to introduce more women to the career path. For the first time, SFD is hosting Camp Ignite, a four-day program designed to educate girls and young women ages 14-21 about the fire service while empowering them through team building and leadership development activities. 

“The purpose is to introduce them to the fire service and more specifically firefighting, medical services, things that we do as a career firefighter,” said Tyler Barrett, SFD firefighter and camp director. “We also want these girls to come out of this camp with more confidence, leadership skills, life skills, things that they can apply every day.”

During Camp Ignite, participants will take part in real-life training while learning valuable life skills and life-saving techniques in an interactive and fun environment. Activities include physical training, a hands-only CPR class and instruction about various firefighter skills like search and rescue, extrication equipment, rope rescue, hose lines and more. 

“We’re going to get dirty. We’re going to do a lot of hands-on activities . . . [and] really show them the different tools and skills that come with the fire service and firefighting,” Barrett said. 

She said that SFD decided to host Camp Ignite for a couple of reasons.

“Having this girls’ camp is going to, one, introduce firefighting to girls who may not think they can do the job, whether it’s because it’s a male-dominated field or because they don’t know if they’re physically or mentally capable. Having this camp is going to show them, ‘hey girls, you can do this job,” Barrett explained. “The second part is being able to bring the community to us and let them see what we’re doing in a safe, friendly, comfortable environment. . . We’re able to interact with the community and share what we do with them and why all of us are so passionate [about] what we do.”

Camp Ignite will help enable girls to see firefighting as a viable career option while providing them with a unique opportunity to challenge themselves and grow in several ways. Barrett encourages any girls with an interest in the fire service or an interest in personal development to register for the camp.

“When you think of sport camps or different activity camps that could lead to a career, this is going to be one of those camps that really shows these girls and young women what the fire service is about from the firefighting perspective. . . We [also] want these girls to come in and learn about themselves, learn how to be part of a team. . . the leadership piece, self-confidence and self-esteem, the list goes on. We really want these girls to come out of this camp and feel like they’ve grown over a four-day period and . . . learned about the potential opportunities that they could have down the road as a career firefighter,” she said.

As a career firefighter herself, Barrett said she was motivated to become a firefighter because she wanted a challenge and to serve her community. She had an athletic background and sought out opportunities to push herself and do more. 

“I wanted something more for my personal growth, so I looked into the military. My dad has been with Savannah Fire for almost 19 years now, and he said, ‘have you not thought about the fire department?’ So I looked into it . . . and fell in love with the process,” she explained. 

Barrett joined SFD in March of 2017, and  she is excited to share about what she does with the local community.

“The support that we’ve gotten from Savannah Fire, the City of Savannah and the feedback that we’ve gotten once we released the camp has been awesome. It’s really exciting stuff and we’re looking forward to this year’s camp and continuing to build on it,” she added.

Camp Ignite will take place July 26-29. The camp is free and limited spaces are available. The application deadline is July 1. Register online at savannahga.gov/campignite



Published June 28, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

     

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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