Newsroom - Archive
Fire Camp Inspires Young Girls to Consider a Career in Firefighting

Aug 09, 2016

Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services' (MFES) held its first teen training camp, Camp Ignite. Teenaged girls, ages 15 to 19, applied to be a part of a firefighter training program that focuses on inspiring young girls to consider a career in the fire service. Those selected have the opportunity to participate in a week-long training camp, which includes:

  • Dress drills;
  • Hydrant drills;
  • Hose deployment;
  • Ropes/rappelling;
  • Extinguishing a car fire;
  • Public education;
  • Fire prevention; and
  • Aerial bucket rides and relay races.

Caption: The camp is being led by the City’s first female firefighter, Shelli Varela. Varela joined MFES in 1994 and was later promoted to the position of captain in 2008.

Quote: "Girls often don’t have that same natural connection to firefighting that young boys frequently embrace," said Varela. "Because the connection isn’t there, girls generally don’t investigate a career in firefighting. With Camp Ignite, we want to show young women that firefighting isn’t just possible but could be the ideal path for them."

Caption: More than 15 Mississauga-based teenaged girls, ages 15 to 19, are ready to learn more about what career in the fire service entails.

Caption: Camp Ignite participant, Abigail, gets ready to gear up for the day.

Caption: Julia, a Camp Ignite participant gets suited up for her morning training.

Caption: Mayor Bonnie Crombie drops by to talk with participants and see how the training is going.

Quote: “Camp Ignite is a tremendous opportunity for young women to build confidence, develop new and life-long skillsets and experience firsthand how rewarding it is to embark on a career as a firefighter,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said. “I want to acknowledge the remarkable leaders from Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services including Chief Tim Beckett and Captain Shelli Varela, for their leadership and commitment to mentor, inspire and encourage young women and for their ongoing efforts to build a modern, dynamic and professional fire services department made up of the best, the brightest and the bravest individuals.”

Caption: Teen firefighters prepare for demo.

Caption: Camp Ignite participants learn about the tools used in auto extrication.

Caption: Lauren and Beth learn how to turn on a fire hydrant and use a water hose.

Caption: Camp Ignite participant, Megan, rappels 60ft off the top of a building.

Caption: Campers learn how to put our a car fire.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Lindsay Noronha
Communications Advisor, Community Services
City of Mississauga                                                   
905-615-3200, ext. 3940                                                
TTY: 905-896-5151