It's the big question we all face when we're young, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Common answers are firefighter or police officer and middle and high school students from the Wausau Boys and Girls Club got the chance to live out that dream on Wednesday.
Kids got to try on a couple different hats for size at the Northcentral Technical College Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill as they went through the training exercises of police, fire, and EMS professionals.
"It's really fun and it teaches us to be on our feet and be very active," Tyler Jones, 14 said.
"They're kind of at that point of 'what should I do for my career when I get a little bit older?' And, 'where should I go to college?' And things like that are starting to play into their minds, so this gives them an opportunity to see maybe this might be the avenue that they might want to venture into," said the college's Public Safety Executive Director Bert Nitzke.
Fourteen-year-old Asia Stalsberg said she's now thinking of going into the behind the scenes work of public safety.
The hands-on experiences is, of course a great opportunity for all the kids involved, but it's especially so for the young women.
"This has been a male-dominated field for a long time and seeing more girls come here today and seeing them apply at the fire departments is great because we do need that diversity and it's just great seeing them out here having fun," said SAFER Firefighter and EMT Emily Dobeck. "Sometimes it can be very intimidating seeing is how most of the tasks that we perform require strength, but sometimes it comes in handy when you're smaller."
Experiences like the one the Boys and Girls Club and NTC provided for the kids may inspire more women to join the field.
If you would like to try some of the college's hands-on training classes or bring your group to some, you can visit their website here: http://www.ntc.edu/.
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