New Pilot Program for Volunteer Fire Company - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Pilot Program for Volunteer Fire Company

Posted: Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - The Roxana Volunteer Fire Department has partnered with the Indian River School District for a new pilot program aimed at getting middle schoolers involved in fire department activities.

Roxana Fire Chief Chris Uibel and Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett formally announced the program Monday at a ceremony at the fire house. Anyone ages 10-14 can take part in the cadet program, titled Operation Gem, where they'll learn fire safety, CPR and leadership skills. Chief Uibel says they'll also take part in parades that the department is in, and even have the opportunity to go out to fire scenes after they are safe and secure. Arlett and Uibel say the program is targeted at middle schoolers so when they turn 15, they can seamlessly transition into becoming a junior firefighter. Uibel says it's important to get kids involved while they are younger, as there are so many competing extracurriculars as they age.

"At 14, they are playing two to three sports and are too busy to add an event to their schedule," he told WBOC. "So if we get them in now, they say 'This is what I want to do.'" 

Uibel adds that many academic programs and scholarships require volunteer hours from students, and Operation Gem will provide those necessary hours.

Terry Jester, the President of the Delaware State Fire Chiefs Association says this program will be instrumental in increasing recruitment for volunteer fire companies.

"We're at a crossroads at our states as far as volunteers," he said. "So I'm hoping this will be something that can save us." 

Jester says if volunteer fire companies cannot get enough recruits, Sussex County may be forced to increase taxes in order to hire firefighters. Arlett says this program will help avoid that, as well as provide valuable mentorship.

"I'm not looking to raise any taxes. We want to keep this as a volunteer fire service and part of our community," Arlett said. "It's something I think the youth will embrace-- they are looking for leadership, they are looking for involvement, they are looking for mentors. And this is a perfect opportunity to seek what they are looking for." 

The program will also include a daily elective class at Millsboro Middle School for interested students. Arlett says they are also in the process of creating an after school program at Selbyville Middle School. Additionally, the program has monthly meetings on the first Sunday each month, aimed at cadets who live in different school districts or are home schooled. Arlett and Uibel hope to expand the program to high schools and adult education programs in the next few years, and hope other fire companies adopt the program as well.

Chief Uibel says the program will also include community gatherings, such as movie nights and a reading assistance program. He says all of this is on a volunteer basis, and while it may not pay, it's incredibly rewarding.

"There's an old saying that if you're an old firefighter, the greatest thing you can do is teach a young firefighter how to be a old firefighter," he says with a smile. "It makes you feel good at night."

Anyone interested in the program can contact the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Public Input

    Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Public Input

    Feb 23, 2018 3:06 AM2018-02-23 08:06:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:06 AM EST2018-02-23 08:06:35 GMT
    REHOBOTH BEACH, Del - The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays needs your help to update a comprehensive plan for managing the Inland Bays. The center has released a brief survey to address the community’s concerns relating to the health of the RehobMore
    REHOBOTH BEACH, Del - The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays needs your help to update a comprehensive plan for managing the Inland Bays. The center has released a brief survey to address the community’s concerns relating to the health of the RehobMore
  • Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money from his Employers

    Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money from his Employers

    Feb 23, 2018 12:12 AM2018-02-23 05:12:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:14 GMT
    Courtesy of the Milford Police Department Courtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Courtesy of the Milford Police DepartmentCourtesy of the Milford Police Department
    The Milford Police Department said they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers.More
    The Milford Police Department said they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers. More
  • Proposed Regulation Allowing Guns in Delaware State Parks Awaits Hearing in March

    Proposed Regulation Allowing Guns in Delaware State Parks Awaits Hearing in March

    Feb 22, 2018 10:41 PM2018-02-23 03:41:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 10:41 PM EST2018-02-23 03:41:39 GMT
    An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.
    An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.
    GEORGETOWN, Del. - Delaware officials held a public meeting on Thursday night to answer the community's questions about the proposed regulation allowing guns into Delaware State Parks. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled the previous ban on firearms inside sMore
    Delaware officials held a public meeting on Thursday night to answer the community's questions about the proposed regulation allowing guns into Delaware State Parks. More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money from his Employers

    Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money from his Employers

    Feb 23, 2018 12:12 AM2018-02-23 05:12:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:14 GMT
    Courtesy of the Milford Police Department Courtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Courtesy of the Milford Police DepartmentCourtesy of the Milford Police Department
    The Milford Police Department said they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers.More
    The Milford Police Department said they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers. More
  • Dover Police: 7, Including 4 Gang Members, Arrested in Drug and Firearm Investigation

    Police Arrest Seven, Including Gang Members, in Drug and Firearm Investigation

    Feb 22, 2018 1:52 PM2018-02-22 18:52:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 2:49 PM EST2018-02-22 19:49:46 GMT
    Jaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover PoliceJaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover Police
    Jaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover PoliceJaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover Police
    Dover police say seven people are in custody - including four gang members - after a drug and firearm investigation.More
    Dover police say seven people are in custody - including four gang members - after a drug and firearm investigation.More
  • DelDOT Has Long-Term Plans for Cashless Tolls

    DelDOT Has Long-Term Plans for Cashless Tolls

    Feb 21, 2018 6:49 PM2018-02-21 23:49:00 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 6:56 PM EST2018-02-21 23:56:11 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- Drivers may one day be able to leave their cash and coins for tolls in Delaware at home because DelDOT plans to exclusively use electronic tolling in several years. C.R. McLeod, a DelDOT spokesman, said a pilot program on the new U.S. RoutMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Drivers may one day be able to leave their cash and coins for tolls in Delaware at home because DelDOT plans to exclusively use electronic tolling in several years. C.R. McLeod, a DelDOT spokesman, said a pilot program on the new U.S. RoutMore
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More
  • Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
  • Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices