Fire Camp Teaches Lifesaving Lessons

Brad Dietlin is changing right before these kid's eyes. From regular looking guy Brad Dietlin to fire fighter Brad Dietlin.

Seeing a masked man crawling toward you in a smoke-filled room can be a scary sight to young children.

"I was just afraid and I didn't know what they were," six-year-old Ethan Stowell said. "I was just scared."

"They're scared because of the smoke, the heat, its dark," Dietlin said. "They can't find their mom and dad. The smoke detector is going off. A lot of kids tend to hide. Under the bed, under piles of laundry, in the closet."

And that could prove fatal.

The exercise of seeing Dietlin "gear up" is intended to show fire fighters are just regular people trying to help.

Ethan Stowell gets it.

"He just looks like a person," he said.

And when Dietlin has his gear on?

"He looks like a firefighter doing his job, Ethan said.

Teaching kids to survive a fire is the goal of this fire camp.

"We come in with our gear and our masks and we look kind of like Darth Vader," Bellevue firefighter Jennifer Dietlin said. "So we try to get them to be not scared of us. And we want them to be out in the open because its also safety for us so we can find them easily."

The kids will pass along what they've learned with their parents.

Seven-year-old Julia Waite has a tip for her little brother.

"That fire fighters are just trying to help you if they come in," she said. "Don't hide from them because if you do you could possibly die."

Learning that lesson makes a day at camp that much more important.

The fire camp runs through the weekend with 8-to-11-year-olds attending Saturday and special needs children on Sunday.


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