The local First Nation has a vibrant and active volunteer fire department, including a Junior Fire Crew made up of secondary students who are members of the First Nation. Approximately half of the secondary school aged students in this First Nation choose to attend the nation-run school and half choose to attend a nearby public high school.
Students train for up to two years, and complete fire safety, physical endurance, and communication skills evaluations in order to earn their place on active calls. Students on the Junior Fire Crew have responded to house and chimney fires, medical emergencies, and wildland fire calls, some of which threatened over a dozen homes.
In oral interviews with their Careers and Planning teacher, two students specifically pointed to the collaborative nature of their training and spoke to how members coach each other depending on individual strengths. Further, the students emphasized the importance of knowing who is undertaking which role in each fire and the collaborative nature of the crew’s organization. They displayed a clear understanding of their specific roles on the team, as well as the roles of more senior and junior members. There is also collaboration with other local fire crews, both locally-based wildfire crews and fire crews from neighbouring communities.
The Career and Planning teacher observed that participation in the Junior Fire Crew had a positive impact on the confidence and self-esteem of students. Further, some students went on to pursue firefighting careers after their involvement.
I can connect my group with other groups and broader networks for various purposes.
I can step outside of my comfort zone to develop working relationships with unfamiliar groups. I develop and coordinate networking partnerships beyond and in service of the group. I demonstrate my commitment to the group’s purpose by taking on different roles as needed. I acknowledge different perspectives and seek out and create space for missing or marginalized voices. I summarize key themes to identify commonalities and focus on deepening or transforming our collective thinking and actions. I recognize when wisdom and strategies from others are needed and access these to address complex goals. I help create connections with other groups or networks to further our common goals to further our impact.
I can take purposeful action to support others and the environment.
I can build relationships and be a thoughtful and supportive friend. I can identify ways my actions and the actions of others affect my community and the natural environment. I look for ways to make my classroom, school, community, or natural world a better place, and identify small things I can do that could make a difference. I demonstrate respectful and inclusive behaviour in a variety of settings, and I recognize that everyone has something to offer.