South County firefighter Phil Pons looks up after his team loses at a firehouse game during Kids Fire Camp at South County Fire Administrative Headquarters on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

South County firefighter Phil Pons looks up after his team loses at a firehouse game during Kids Fire Camp at South County Fire Administrative Headquarters on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

These kids with hoses might be our future firefighters

A South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue camp teaches young people skills including first aid.

EVERETT — With four days of training from professionals, a group of youngsters is ready to fight fires … in a few years.

About 40 kids ages 11-14 are taking part this week in a firefighting camp hosted by South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue.

They’re the firefighting Class of 2030, Chief Bruce Stedman said.

The kids get to climb a fire truck ladder, use hoses and fire extinguishers and learn to tie special knots.

This year, the camp incorporates a district program that teaches people how to keep someone alive before emergency services arrive.

Staff show how to perform hands-only CPR and use a tourniquet.

“This is going to change first aid across the country,” Stedman said.

Campers duel during a fire hose game during Kids Fire Camp at South County Fire Administrative Headquarters on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Campers duel during a fire hose game during Kids Fire Camp at South County Fire Administrative Headquarters on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The camp, which takes place at the district’s headquarters, isn’t all serious, though.

Firefighter Aaron Williams has been involved since the camp began in 2015. He’s been the coordinator for the past two years after serving as a counselor. Silliness is his expertise, he said.

Kids are usually pretty timid the first day, but that changes quickly, Williams said.

“It’s awesome to see their confidence grow,” he said.

On the second day of camp, he stood with wet feet and a smile after a group of attendees unexpectedly doused him with water.

Alex Bonhan, 13, runs down the stairs of a training tower at the obsitcal course station during Kids Fire Camp at South County Fire Administrative Headquarters on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Alex Bonhan, 13, runs down the stairs of a training tower at the obsitcal course station during Kids Fire Camp at South County Fire Administrative Headquarters on Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Williams has been the target of camp pranks before.

“They got me last year with Silly String,” he said. “I think I prefer the water.”

Eden Kelly, 10, and Sarah Stein, 11, met at camp.

Eden said she was nervous before using an extinguisher on a grease fire, although you couldn’t tell from her smile when the white plume subdued the flames.

This is Sarah’s second year at camp, so she knew her friend would be OK.

“But I was still a little nervous,” she said.

Joseph Thompson: 425-339-3430; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @JoeyJThomp.

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