Big Bear Fire Department wants to educate children on the fire service. To achieve this goal, the department has launched a motivational educational program using fire department trading cards.

The program is designed to educate Big Bear’s elementary school age students and get them excited about a career in the fire service.

To earn a card, students must contact Big Bear firefighters and learn about each of the apparatus or people pictured on the 19 trading cards.

 “We know that when an interest in the fire service starts at a young age, we increase the probability of getting kids to become firefighters as adults,” said Fire Chief Jeff Willis. “Big Bear Fire Department has been able to retain firefighters long-term when they are raised locally in Big Bear. This is an investment in our youth and our future.”

The program was the creation of Fire Captain Josh Mandolini who engaged third-grade students from Big Bear elementary schools to write the descriptions for the cards. Fire engineer Jon Bidwell introduces the program to the students at North Shore Elementary, Big Bear Elementary and Baldwin Lane Elementary Schools. Parents will be introduced to the program’s rules and prizes at the schools’ open houses this month.

For more information, contact Big Bear Fire Department at or


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