The Standard Fire Department took the “Skills for Life” members from the Crowfoot 4-H Multi Club through their fire hall a couple of days ago, where the members learned about the importance of giving back to their community from Standard Fire Chief Mark Duguay and his team.

Skills for Life Project Leader Connie Harder says the 4-H members and parents were taught what happens after the initial 9-1-1 phone call and what the process is from making that call in Wheatland County and how first responders are dispatched.

“The big takeaway is that the members in these small communities are not paid. They are volunteers and when those tones go off because you are having an emergency, they stop whatever they are doing so that they can respond to that tone. This was something very valuable for our kids to learn - the sacrifice that these volunteers make.”

Harder explained the kids learned a lot from the volunteers. Things like how much it costs every time the fire truck leaves the yard, the cost of this life saving equipment and what happens when they return. These volunteers can clock in upwards of 500 hours a year in service to their community.

The one thing that really brought it home for the kids was when they were taking a tour of the fire trucks, inside one truck was an area for hot water.

“When these fire fighters are on a call, they can be out there for 12 -16+ hours at a time. Often, they are called out in the worst weather conditions. So, they are hungry, they are cold and they need hydration. With this hot water and food compartment, they can make themselves a cup of soup, grab a granola bar and coffee. They do this so they don’t have to leave the scene to be well.”

Harder says it was really beneficial for the kids to see that because that is something they wouldn’t think about at all. When that tone goes, fire fighters don’t have time to pack a lunch before they must go to meet the needs of their community members in distress.

Skills for Life is a program that runs throughout the year that has a strong focus on monthly tasks and projects for members to learn something valuable when they move out and start their adult life.

Going to the fire station is just one of the many things that the Crowfoot 4-H Multi Club, Skills for Life project does with the kids. The first project that they did was learning how to change a tire.

“We partnered with OK Tire, and they taught them how to change a tire manually, where to find a spare, how to use a jack, and what the air tools would like if they were to do it professionally.”

There are 27 members of the club and out of the 27, there are eight that are participating in the Skills for Life program. At the beginning of the year, the 8 that are participating in the Skills for Life program pick a couple of ideas that they want to learn more about then the program leaders make the connections with the community to see who would help the members out.

“We are so grateful for the support we’ve had from our community. These folks were so great with our 4-H members - it is really fulfilling to see how the community has stepped up to help with this project.”

Harder added Skills for Life would not be able to operate the way it does without the help of fellow leader Jessica Marshman, saying she is essential to the project. 

4-H Standard Fire Department

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