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Rockingham County Fire & Rescue, Harrisonburg Fire Department hold annual Camp LIT program

The camp is for young women. Erin Stehle with HFD says women are outnumbered nationwide in the fire service.
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:55 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -The Harrisonburg Fire Department and Rockingham County Fire and Rescue are holding their 3rd annual Camp LIT program this week in the Valley.

“LIT” stands for leadership, integrity, and trailblazer.

Erin Stehle with the Harrisonburg Fire Department said the goal of the camp is to introduce the young campers into the fire service world through hands-on activities and training along with team-building exercises.

She said the camp is geared toward women, who are outnumbered nationwide in the fire service.

This year there were 16 campers, some of whom were visiting from outside the Valley like Mariah Abdill.

Abdill said she is hoping to follow in her family’s footsteps and join public service as a firefighter one day.

“I always wanted to be a firefighter thanks to my mom and some of my family members. My mom was always a dispatcher until she discovered she was going blind, so was like ‘why not just step up and become a firefighter?” Abdill said. “I would always ask her every day ‘was there any firefighter calls? If there was, what type of firefighter calls?’” Abdill said.

Abdill said the week has shown her just how tough the job can be but said, that makes her want to join the service even more.

She hopes to see more young campers go through the program in the future.

The camp is for ages 13 to 16. Registration for next year opens in the spring.

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