9-year-old Calgary girl named the new Junior Fire Chief
Zoe Ramsey was nominated by the Alberta Children’s Hospital to help the Calgary Fire Department teach kids her own age about fire safety
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As she careened down the streets in a firetruck on Thursday morning, Zoe Ramsey was living out every kid’s dream.
The nine-year-old arrived in style at Varsity Station 17 after the ride, where she was greeted with a round of applause – she had just been named the 2017 Junior Fire Chief.
Every year during Fire Prevention Week, the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) appoints a new Junior Fire Chief to help spread the message of fire safety to youth in Calgary.
“There’s a lot more uptake when we have someone Zoe’s age talking to their own peer group,” said Deputy Fire Chief Allan Ball. “They relate a lot better than an adult nagging at them, so we find that a great opportunity.”
For the next year, Zoe will join the CFD for fire safety events and promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “every second counts: plan two ways out.”
Each Junior Fire Chief is nominated by the Alberta Children’s Hospital for displaying the skills of a role model. Zoe suffers from mild hemiparetic cerebral palsy and has been a patient at the hospital since she was two, but Ball says she’s shown “incredible spirit” through it all.
Zoe’s parents, Stephanie and Brian Ramsey, watched with a crowd of firefighters as their daughter was fitted with her own helmet and duty coat to mark her new position.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Stephanie. “I know that kid’s love firefighters, and it’s so great to see what they do and give Zoe the opportunity to tell her friends more about fire safety.”
After the celebration was all over, Zoe said she couldn’t really explain what she was feeling, but was excited for the year to come.
“I felt really happy to be the Junior Fire Chief,” she said. “It was just exciting.”