BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Combining fun with fire safety lessons. That's what's happening this week at the annual Fire Academy for Kids in Biloxi.
The campers experience a week in the life of a firefighter. There's the physical training, the daring heights and of course, the smoke filled rooms. All of that and a good bit of emergency training.
"They teach you how to make a house plan if there were a fire, and they teach you what to do. The safe options," said camper Emma Hardy, of Biloxi.
Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Vincent Payne said the department presents all of this safety education in a fun way.
"As you can see, the kids love it. I get kids who want to come back every single year," said Payne.
The campers go through safety drills, review emergency plans and get a hands on experience with fire equipment.
"It's a good way for me to learn to be safe about fires and learn how to operate stuff when a grownup is not there. Like learn how to use a fire extinguisher and that kind of stuff," said camper Brian Parker, of Gulfport.
Payne said it's not just the kids who learn from the week of safety training. Parents and other family members get a dose of the training too when the kids go home each evening.
"They'll say, 'You know, I never knew that.' My grandson or my granddaughter taught me this, and I really appreciate it," said Payne.
That's why Payne said he hosts this camp year after year. He hopes to increase awareness and prevent the potential for disaster. Maybe, one day, this training will help save a life.
A grant helped fund the camp in its first year. Now, it operates thanks to funding from sponsors in the community.