Bolinas youth sought for fire cadet program


The Bolinas Fire Protection District is looking for six local students ages 16 to 18 to participate in a pilot cadet program to learn what being a firefighter is all about. “It is a mutually beneficial opportunity for kids coming into the program, and for us,” said Anita Tyrrell-Brown, the district’s fire chief. The students, who must live within the district, will attend Thursday night trainings with the 19 volunteer firefighters, as well as some Saturday trainings. Assistant chief Steve Marcotte, who also serves on the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District board, spearheaded the project, and the Bolinas Volunteer Fire Department is financing it, covering whatever equipment the students might need. Students will be required to maintain a “C” average (“School comes first for us,” Ms. Tyrrell-Brown said) and will not be allowed out on a call or put in harm’s way. The program is designed to teach the students about responsibility to their community and to themselves, teamwork, leadership and fire protection. The district has two full-time and 5 part-time employees in addition to the volunteers, who have different skill sets. “Some are trained in hazmat, some know how to do water rescues, some have a medical background,” Ms. Tyrrell-Brown said. The challenge, she added, is knowing who is around when, who is qualified for what and making sure they understand both their qualifications and their limitations. “We have been wanting to do something for the community as well as groom folks by learning responsibility. We hope that when they turn 18, they will love it and become volunteers or even pursue firefighting as a career.” Those interested can call the Bolinas Fire Protection District at (415) 868.1566.