Camp Fahrenheit 516 aims to train future firefighters of Long Island

The camp is named for the blazing heat campers encounter while training.

News 12 Staff

Jul 28, 2022, 11:18 AM

Updated 687 days ago


Camp Fahrenheit 516 is underway with a goal to train the next generation of volunteer firefighters on Long Island.
The camp is named for the blazing heat campers encounter while training.
The number of volunteer firefighters in Nassau and Suffolk counties is dwindling, according to Eugene Perry, from the Firefighters Association of the State of New York. That's where Camp Fahrenheit 516 comes in.
The camp is held at the Nassau County Fire Service Academy in Bethpage. The goal is to "fire up" junior volunteer firefighters by putting them in situations firefighters face.
"We like to think that a majority of them will become the future firefighters of Nassau County," says Chief Don Marra.
"Introducing the fire service from this camp at such a young age, it's an excellent recruiting tool," says Jerry Presta, of the Nassau County Junior Firefighters Association.
The hands-on training allows the junior volunteers a chance to learn firefighting skills -- and many say they will go on to volunteer.
"A lot of 17-year-olds don't get to do the stuff that we get to do," says Gabriella Williams, who is a junior volunteer with the Hewlett Fire Department.
Trever Gayron, a junior volunteer in Farmingdale, says the weeklong training has given him lifelong skills.
"Leadership, accountability, responsibility - that's another great part of this camp," Gayron says.
Nassau and Suffolk counties depend on each towns' volunteer fire departments. Residents who would like to volunteer are encouraged to contact their local fire department for more information.

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