Burlington students got some hands-on training in safety and were given a chance to learn about the work of firefighters and police officers last week.
Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian was in Burlington Wednesday, June 27 to visit with cadets attending the 2012 Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA).
As part of the camp, the cadets were invited to the where they toured the facility and learned about the role the fire department plays protecting public safety.
The young cadets were easy to spot in their complimentary neon green shirts. Koutoujian explained that until this year the shirts were white, but he decided to change the color to something very noticeable that the children can wear in big public events.
"With these shirts parents will be able to spot their kids even in a big crowd," Koutoujian said. "It is comforting for a parent to know that even at a big event they will be able to spot their kids immediately."
See our video above for an interview with Koutoujian and scenes of the kids getting some hands-on training.
Earlier in the day cadets had visited with , where, among other things, they witness a K-9 Unit demonstration.
The YPSA program run by Sheriff Koutoujian’s office brings children ages 9-11 from across Middlesex County together with public safety officials for week-long camps. Over the course of the week, campers learn about basic first aid, are educated on fire safety and spend time in classrooms learning about internet safety and bullying prevention.
On Friday Koutoujian proudly recognized the Billerica and Burlington graduates of the 2012 Middlesex Sheriff’s Office YPSA.
The ceremony, which recognized a total of 206 children ages 9-11, was held at the Middlesex Training Academy in Billerica. This is the 13th year of the academy.
During Friday’s graduation ceremony, Sheriff Koutoujian addressed the cadets about the importance of using what they learned during the week-long camp to help keep themselves and others safe. He also talked to them about teamwork, self-esteem and role models, pointing to their parents, as well as the police officers, fire fighters and sheriff’s department personnel they met during the week.
Over the course of the week cadets were taught basic first aid skills and fire safety, participated in team-building exercises, were able to tour their local police and fire departments and participated in a series of demonstrations.
Several local officials from Billerica and Burlington attended Friday’s graduation.
Among the officials from Burlington were Town Administrator John Petrin, Selectman Michael Runyan, School Committeeman Kristin Russo, Police Chief Mike Kent and Police Officer Steve Cross. Officials from Billerica included Selectman Robert Correnti, Police Chief Daniel Rosa, Police Officer Matt Keough and Deputy Fire Chief Tom Ferraro.
More than 1600 youngsters from various Middlesex County communities will participate in the academy this summer.
Information and writing of this article was assisted by the Middlesex Sheriff Department's Public Information Officer Kevin Maccioli.