Campers get a special peek
into firefighters' livelihood

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lucky batches of day-campers recently peeked behind the scenes at Barrow County Emergency Services' Fire Station 7, part of the department's continued efforts to bridge a relationship between emergency responders and the county's youth.

The gig, the youngsters learned, isn't all adrenaline-fueled fire runs and heroic medical saves. There's a fair bit of preparation and schooling that comes with donning a firefighter's helmet or paramedic's uniform.

Campers from Barrow County Leisure Services toured the station the week of July 6, when the station's ambulance, fire truck and ladder truck were displayed like the world's coolest show-and-tell offerings. A few volunteers allowed medical equipment to be tested on them for the kids' benefit.

"This gives the children the opportunity to not only see the equipment and apparatus," said Lt. Ernest Weant, "but to meet the firefighters and get a glimpse into what we do."

The fire department consists of roughly 90 full-time personnel with 15 part-timers, all responsible for the protection of 63,000 residents - and growing - through six "response facilities," as they say in firefighter parlance.

All fire personnel are cross-trained to the level of EMT-Intermediate or EMT-Paramedic, officials said.

"We hope the children enjoyed their time," Weant said. "We also hope that they learned a little bit about what we do and how our equipment works."