Saturday's snow didn't stop the junior Westhampton Beach firefighters from helping to make a training video that will be used by the National Fire Council to educate junior firefighters throughout the nation.
For the video, the junior firefighters, performed drills based on basement fire strategies and tactics at the , including a breakout and a search and rescue effort in a smoke-filled room.
Dick Stockinger, executive director of the Suffolk County Fire Academy, who was on hand during the shoot, said he was extremely impressed with the junior firefighters.
"They are a credit to their mentors," he said and added that they are "vital to recruitment and retention in today's difficult times."
Many of the junior firefighters say the experience, as well as the other opportunities they have had through the Westhampton Beach Fire Department's Junior firefighting program, have helped them to decide to become firefighters when they turn 18.
"This program really changes your perspective on the volunteers," said one junior firefighter. "When we see them pulling out of the firehouse on the truck, we know they are going to do amazing things."
The Junior Firefighter program, which was started in 2004, was ranked best in the nation by the National Fire Council. It was also nominated for the same honor for 2011. The program provides 30, 12 to 18 year-olds fire training on a bi-weekly basis. The trainees also participate in community service projects — they march in parades, conduct fundraisers such as car washes, bake cookies and sing carols to widows of fire personnel during the holidays.