‘You Can be Anything:' Camp Gives Girls A Look at Work of First Responders

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It’s a chance to learn how to save lives and to be taught by the pros.

From fire to police to EMT, young ladies are getting a chance to explore the careers of a first responder and see if it’s something that interests them.

“Me and my dad both thought that it would be a good experience for me,” said 13-year-old Giada Bermudez.

The Girl’s Future Firefighter Camp is a bit smaller in its sixth year due to COVID precautions, but retired Hartford Fire Captain Shelly Carter says she knows it’s important to give young girls this kind of opportunity. She says it’s important to show them they can do anything.

“You can be anything. You are confident. You are courageous. You are strong. There is nothing that’s impossible. Someone told me I couldn’t do it. Someone told me I couldn’t be a firefighter. They told me I couldn’t be a driver, but I am. They told me I couldn’t be an officer, but I am. C’mon. We can do this! I want to instill that into my young ladies that, don’t allow anyone to put you in a box. We can do whatever we put our minds to,” said Carter.

“I think the program is a fantastic opportunity. I didn’t realize the fire service was for me until I was halfway through college, and I kind of wish I had found it earlier,” said firefighter Rosie Lacas, who is also an instructor for the camp.

On Friday, instructors taught students CPR and gave them hands-on experience. They also learned how to use an AED. Outside, they explored an ambulance, something former student Faith Cruz says inspired her to work towards becoming an EMT.

“When I got here, everything that they were doing was pretty cool, and I liked it,” said Cruz.

The hope is this camp shows young women a career path they may not have considered, but one the instructors say is rewarding and makes a difference for the people they help.

Day one of camp took place at the New Britain Police Department. The camp is free for students. If you would like to donate to the camp, or if you’d like to get your child involved, you can visit

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