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City of Yuma invites teenage girls to feel the burn at upcoming camp

YUMA, Ariz. (KAWC) - Women firefighters remain among the minority, particularly here in Yuma.

An upcoming camp hopes to change that by igniting excitement among teenage girls about the career.

“We're definitely hoping to encourage more students to have kind of an eye opening experience of what it's like and that they can do it,” says City of Yuma Programs Director Marilyn Lammel.

And an eye-opening experience definitely awaits high school-aged girls at the upcoming Camp Inferno.

It kicks off February 15th and is open to high-school aged girls from across Yuma County.

City Parks and Rec first began offering the three-day basic firefighting boot camp in 2016 at the request of the Yuma Fire Department in hopes of enlisting new recruits.

Seven years later it remains popular, and apparently, a whole lot of fun.

“It's fast and we get to do so many really cool activities, so much so, that sometimes even the firefighters will say, hey, we never even get to do this. You know, because it's like we do the neatest stuff, Lammel tells us.

That “neat stuff” includes scaling towers, repelling down them, and spraying high-pressure hoses.

“There's a big competition at the end. It's a fire muster and they compete against each other and their groups, and it's kind of the culmination of camp and it's so much fun,” she says.

But it’s about more than physicality and competition, it’s also about building the comradery and leadership skills needed to save lives.

“The girls are broken up into small groups where they get to really know each other, which is part of the camp too.”

Lammel tells us the idea is to make new friends, learn new skills, and experience a possible career path.

“That's why we reach out to high school students, especially because they might be at the time where they're thinking about what they might want to do,” says Lammel.

The camp runs three days: February 15th, 17th, and 18th.

It costs $30, with scholarships available.

For more information, and an application, just visit the City of Yuma’s website.