Boys Ranch residents to welcome area first responders

Cal Farley’s picturesque campus, Boys Ranch, will welcome a dozen or more police, fire and EMS vehicles on Friday, June 22, at the inaugural Cal Farley’s First Responders Day.

Combining the fun of a car show and a job fair, activities will kick off at 10 a.m., as Cal Farley’s residents and staff get a chance to examine police cruisers, SWAT vehicles, ambulances, fire-fighting equipment and even a few emergency-response helicopters from agencies across the Texas Panhandle. In addition to the vehicle displays running along Julian Bivins Boulevard at Boys Ranch, youth involved in Cal Farley’s Experiential Learning Program will display their work, and will have air rockets and a ‘vortex canon’ on hand to add to the fun. Cal Farley’s Junior Fire Crew, a group of residents interested in pursuing careers as firefighters, will stage a demonstration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and offer a unique firefighter’s take on water polo from noon to 2 p.m.

“Our hope is that First Responders Day can grow into an annual event that benefits both our residents and our area police, fire and paramedics,” said Luke Benton, director of adventure-based services. “Our youth get a close-up look at the people and equipment around them in these roles, and these agencies have an opportunity to share what a career in these fields has to offer our young people.”

The Simpson Dining Hall staff at Boys Ranch will prepare a fresh-grilled lunch for the residents and first responders in attendance. The day’s activities are part of Boys Ranch’s annual summer recreation program, but Cal Farley’s President & CEO Dan Adams said it’s also an opportunity to help build mutual appreciation between the boys and girls of Cal Farley’s and the men and women in law enforcement, EMS and area fire departments who keep our communities safe.

“Many of the youth we serve never experienced that natural development where they wanted to be firefighters or police officers because of the trauma present in their lives,” Adams explained. “Events like this help inspire some of them toward a possible career field. Others may never choose to pursue a career in public service, but encountering men and women in these fields helps our young people understand the kinds of sacrifices our first responders make to keep them safe or to care for them if they’re injured.”

A ‘gratitude booth’ will provide Boys Ranch youth the materials to create their own appreciation card, which they can then hand-deliver to a first responder in attendance, or leave at one of the vehicles on display.

Watch a collection of moments from the day

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