While the masterful manipulation of pinball flippers and the deft blasting of pixelated perils aren’t generally listed as required skills for firefighter applicants, they may come in handy during a December 6 event hosted by the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department and its Fire Cadet program.
Presented at YESTERcades Classic Video Game Arcade, the all-night Friday fundraiser (6 pm to 2 am) invites all ages to play the Broad Street game room’s collection of fully functional vintage amusements from the 1970s, 80s and 90s — with proceeds dedicated to supporting the training of the RBFD Cadets.
According to the borough website, the RBFD Fire Cadet program functions under the oversight of the Executive Fire Council in coordination with the Explorer program of the Boy Scouts of America. The program is designed to teach young teenagers, between the ages of 14 to 21, the skills of firefighting. A cadet explorer acquires the basic skills required for firefighting. The program is designed to teach safety and to provide confidence in the use of firematic equipment and techniques. Once a cadet becomes 18 years of age, he or she may join one of the firefighting units of the Fire Department.
Experienced firefighters of the department serve as sponsors for the enlisted cadets and are responsible for their training and education. The sponsors coordinate formal classroom training and practical hands-on exercises. Formal training takes place at nearby fire academies and are further supplemented during monthly fire drills conducted by the Red Bank fire companies.
Once a cadet achieves advanced stages of training, he or she is allowed to respond to fire calls with Department’s firefighting units. While the cadets are restricted from entering any structure involved in fire or smoke and are also restricted from engaging in life threatening activities, they do fully participate in many other duties required on the fire ground. For example, cadets may assist with streching hose lines, supply the necessary equipment to firefighters, assist with hydrant operations and with many other essential functions; all of which are performed from outside the structure. For their safety, all fire ground activities are supervised by the sponsors and the Fire Chief.
Residents of the Borough of Red Bank or residents of Monmouth County residing within five miles from the Borough of Red Bank, between the ages of 14 and 17 may join the fire cadet program. For more information or to join, contact the RBFD Chief at (732) 530-2797.