Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by TINA HENNIGAR
It’s not uncommon for a youngster to want to be a firefighter when they grow up. Brandon Wentzell of Bridgewater is turning that desire into a reality. The grade 10 student entering Park View Education Centre already has his sights set on the Holland College Firefighting program in Prince Edward Island when he graduates from high-school in 2022.
“I love everything about it,” he said. “The adrenaline, being with the firefighters.” Brandon admits he even likes the training. The heavy gear doesn’t bother him at all. “The training is fun,” he said of the junior firefighting training that takes place annually in Lunenburg. “The toughest part is having to wait until I’m 19 to
be able to fight actual fires.”
Brandon has been around firefighters his entire life. His father, Andy, is the Deputy Chief in Bridgewater. “People joke that I’m better than he is,” Brandon laughed. “But I love working with him.” Brandon expects to learn his trade, and then go off to get experience. But he assures us that he’ll be back. “I’m a homeboy. I like it here. I’d love to come back here,” he said of Lunenburg County.
His father Andy said the junior fire fighter program is integral to the department. “They gain so much knowledge from the program. Some stick with it, some don’t, and that’s ok. Keeping volunteer firefighters is always a challenge,” Andy said. Of 10 volunteer firefighters, 5 will last more than a year. Of those 5, only 3 will stick with it. Brandon thinks anyone thinking of joining their local fire department should give it a shot. “Just try it out,” he urged. “If you don’t like it, that’s ok. Just don’t go back.” But Brandon suggests that like him, you just might find something you love, while making a bunch of new friends. “Doing something great for the community is just a bonus.” And in the case of the Wentzell family, it just might run in the family.