Captain Kevin Dalgamo, from left, Grace Harder, Gage Bech-Hansen, Violet Sawyer, Ashton Hickson and Aaron Ens had a special lunch on Oct. 5, 2019, after the kids were selected as Jr. Fire Chiefs for the afternoon. (Supplied)

BX firefighters appoint 4 Junior Chiefs

Four North Okanagan students drove to get a special lunch in Engine No. 1

Four lucky junior fire Chiefs were appointed by the BX-Swan Lake Fire Rescue Wednesday and climbed aboard Engine 1 to go out for a special lunch with their crew.

BX firefighters spoke with more than 600 students from BX and Hillview Elementary, Heritage Christian Homeschool and Vernon Christian School over the month of October to go over important fire safety tips. The students learned how to stop, drop and roll and they learned how to exit a building in the event of a fire.

Following the safety seminars, which also had their teachers dressed up in full firefighting gear, the children who finished their fire safety homework had their names put into a draw. Of all the names put in, four were drawn. The new additions to the BX team joined Chief Bill Wacey, Captain Kevin Dalgarno and firefighters Aaron Ens and Ashton Hickson for a chicken-nugget lunch.

“My favourite part of the day was recess, but my favouritest part of the day was riding in the fire truck,” six-year-old Violet Sawyer said. “I want to be a firefighter when I grow up.”

After 14 years of running the junior chief program, Captain Dalgarno said the biggest benefit is keeping the kids excited about fire safety.

“The kids go home and remind their parents to check their smoke detectors and they tell their friends all about their fun day out,” he said. “We hope that it has lasting effects and creates good habits that they will carry with them.”

Upon their arrival back from lunch, one parent was grateful and thanked the firefighters saying these memories will last her daughter a lifetime.

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Gage Bech-Hansen was one of four winners selected to be a Jr. Fire Chief by the BX-Swan Lake Fire Rescue team. He was treated to a special lunch on Oct. 5, 2019, including a trip in the fire engine. (Supplied)

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