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Kids get a chance to be a firefighter for a day during camp in Carmel

The Carmel Fire Department's free camp gives hundreds of kids the chance to see what it's like to be a firefighter.

CARMEL, Ind. — Hundreds of kids are finding out what it’s like to be a firefighter thanks to a free summer camp run by the Carmel Fire Department

Each day between Tuesday, June 22 and Friday, June 25, a group of 175 kids will spend a day becoming a firefighter.  

“We’re back this year after missing last year at our 'Firefighter for a Day' camp,” said Tim Griffin, a Carmel firefighter and the department's spokesman.

Any child age 7-12 can sign up and admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis.  

“There are about six stations, they mirror what we do,” said Griffin.

But Griffin said their camp is "a lot more fun" and that there's "a lot of water."

There’s even a smoke room that simulates what it’s really like for firefighters when they go into a burning structure. The smoke room is built like a maze, and you have to find your way out by holding onto a hose through the darkness. Griffin said that smoke room is a pretty accurate example of what it’s like in real life. 

While the smoke room is neat, what's the crowd's favorite activity at the fire department? 

“I like the obstacle course, that was pretty fun getting all soaking wet,” said 9-year-old Rocco Wenzler. 

Sisters Amelia and Stella Griffin are Tim’s daughters. They said the obstacle course was their favorite, as well.  

“In the middle [of the obstacle course] you get into the tube, and it would sorta move around and it was fun because it kinda shakes,” said 10-year-old Amelia.  

Wenzler said even though he now thinks being a firefighter “would be hard,” the "Firefighter for a Day" camp may have sparked his interest in pursuing a career as a firefighter.   

“I always liked dad’s job, like a lot, like being a firefighter, and I like saving lives,” said Amelia. 

“Have you thought about doing it?” asked Stella. 

“Yeah, I thought about it. I think I just want to be a doctor to help him,” Amelia replied to her younger sister. 

“I might be a firefighter,” said Stella.  

The girls said being a firefighter means “risking your life for somebody else’s.” 

And they think, “it’s really scary, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.” Still, they think it’s really cool that their father helps save strangers. Stella said it makes her happy.  

“It makes me feel like he’s a good person,” said Amelia.