The Marco Island fire-rescue and police departments have again joined together to offer school children a unique camp experience as they learn about the duties, job responsibilities and challenges of their professions in the public safety field.

The one-week camp concluded after the attendees had the opportunity experience firsthand what they might expect if they decided to choose that career path.

"We wanted the kids to get some exposure to just how demanding this line of work can be," said firefighter Chris Bowden, who assisted with camp.

Campers had the opportunity learn about all facets of the two very different jobs and go through some of the same training that firefighters do, in addition to being exposed to some of the equipment a police officer uses each day.

Participants were able to experience what it is like to rise up 85 feet in an aerial tower with the fire department and how to conduct a crime-scene investigation with police officers.

They also were able to get out on the water with both the fire and police marine vehicles and understand just how both agencies work on and around the water .

"If we can establish a good rapport with the younger generation and break down some of misconceptions about law enforcement it can go a long way toward building better communities," said officer Sal Prenice, who also assisted.

Open house set Saturday

Both the Marco police and fire-rescue departments will host an open house at their respective facilities on Saturday, June 20, from 11 a.m.- to 2 p.m. and welcome islanders to visit their adjacent campuses, located behind City Hall on Bald Eagle Drive.

Demonstrations and information on a wide variety of items will be available from both agencies and visitors will have convenient parking available.

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