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Junior program a success story for Eldorado

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Cameron McKenzie has taken a lot from his years in the Eldorado Fire Brigade’s junior running team.

Junior program a success story for Eldorado

While the 17 year old has had some success at the competitions, he is grateful to be able to apply many of these skills to his everyday life.

“I suffer from anxiety and the CFA competitions, and CFA in general, have helped me quite a lot with coping with that,” said Cameron.

“It just makes me more aware of what’s going on around me, and has allowed me to be able to work with other people more efficiently.”

Today, 12 August, marks International Youth Day, and Cameron is among the more than 4,000 youth members that CFA is celebrating.

“I would have started at the age of 11,” said Cameron.

“I was really influenced by my dad because he’s been doing it since he was 18 and we’d go down to and be at his events, so it’s always been a part of my life.”

This year’s theme of International Youth Day is “Youth Engagement for Global Action” which seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people is enriching institutions.

For the Eldorado Brigade, it’s the youth that’s helped revitalise its membership.

“We started our junior program at Eldorado in 2005 because of our ageing firefighters, and since then we’ve had more than 15 members go on from juniors and into the senior sides.”

“It’s helped with neighbouring brigades as we also have juniors from the local area, then they go back to their surrounding brigades when they turn 16.”

The junior program has also resulted in some positive results for the brigade at competitions, with Cameron saying he’s been part of a team that’s won medals at the State Championships in Hose and Ladder, and Hydrant and Tanker events over the years.

“It’s always breathtaking when you win an award at the competitions and you’re going against the best in the state, and to get on the podium is just amazing,” said Cameron.

Now the young member is hoping the skills and life lessons from the junior program, along with the support from the Eldorado Brigade, can help him to take the next step.

“I have thought of becoming an operational member and it’s a goal of mine, but I’ve got to wait until I’m ready to do all of that.”

Cameron McKenzie

This year’s theme of International Youth Day is “Youth Engagement for Global Action” which seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people is enriching institutions.

For the Eldorado Brigade, it’s the youth that’s helped revitalise its membership.

“We started our junior program at Eldorado in 2005 because of our ageing firefighters, and since then we’ve had more than 15 members go on from juniors and into the senior sides.”

“It’s helped with neighbouring brigades as we also have juniors from the local area, then they go back to their surrounding brigades when they turn 16.”

The junior program has also resulted in some positive results for the brigade at competitions, with Cameron saying he’s been part of a team that’s won medals at the State Championships in Hose and Ladder, and Hydrant and Tanker events over the years.

“It’s always breathtaking when you win an award at the competitions and you’re going against the best in the state, and to get on the podium is just amazing,” said Cameron.

Now the young member is hoping the skills and life lessons from the junior program, along with the support from the Eldorado Brigade, can help him to take the next step.

“I have thought of becoming an operational member and it’s a goal of mine, but I’ve got to wait until I’m ready to do all of that.”