The Bonnyville Firefighters Association recently presented their first-ever scholarships awarded to two successful graduates of Station 5’s Junior Firefighter program. Those graduates would like to thank the BRFA for helping pay for their education and the Junior Firefighter Program (JFF).
Recipients Sabrina Pricope and John Neumann will use their scholarships as they continue their education.
Neumann started the JFF program when he was 16.
“I knew I wanted to do something fire-related as a job and I thought that it was a good way to get some exposure to the field,” Neumann said. “It was even more than what I was expecting. The only thing that we didn’t do was live fire training because of a fire ban that was on at the time when we did it. But we did everything from vehicle extrication to search and rescue and everything in between.”
That summer Neumann joined Station 8 (Ardmore) and in the fall he came on at Station 5 (Bonnyville) as a JFF so he could train and get better exposure to the duties of being a firefighter.
“Coming out of high school last year I had some NFPA course done already and the next step was to get some medical training so I enrolled into the EMR (emergency medical responder) at NAIT,” Neumann said. “It’s the first level of EMS and most paid firefighter jobs need some sort of medical training so I have been doing that for about nine months now and I should be done by the end of this month if everything goes well.”
When Neumann heard that Station 5 was going to be giving out a scholarship he was happy as it would help him with offsetting the price of education. He set his sights on the prize and applied.
“They were giving back to the community even more by helping those who have gone through the program,” Neumann said. “The only other thing I can say if anyone in the age range of 16-18 I want to say this program is very well put together and I could not ask any better way of getting exposure/ experience if you want to do firefighting but it does not only do that but it gives you life skills in leadership and some other aspects of life.”
Sabrina Pricope also received a scholarship from the BRFA.
“I am honoured to receive the Bonnyville Regional Firefighters’ Association Scholarship from the Station 5 Firefighters,” Pricope said. “I had an amazing experience with the Junior Firefighter Program.”
The program not only provided Pricope with an opportunity to acquire new skills and gain an understanding of Bonnyville’s Emergency Services but she also has made lifelong friendships.
“It introduced me to an awesome group of First Responders,” Pricope said. “Though it’s incredibly hard to choose just one, my favourite part of the program was learning how to use the Firefighters’ gear and running drills at the MD training grounds. I will be putting this scholarship towards furthering my education next year in a science-based post-secondary program. I am extremely grateful to the Station 5 Firefighters, not just for the scholarship, but for everything they have taught me about the importance of giving back to one’s community.”