Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Boulder Rural Fire works with au pairs


Julie Dye

The group gathers for a photo each year with all of the au pairs in an area that stretches from Boulder to Longmont.

For the last seven years, Cultural Care Au Pair has partnered with the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District for fire safety training for au pairs working in the U.S. that is required by the state.

In the late spring/early summer, to return the favor, local au pairs, who are young adults from other countries with childcare experience and a good command of the English language, gather to cook an international potluck dinner for the firefighters. Each au pair makes a dish that represents the au pair’s home country. They introduce the meal in their native language, and then again in English.

Julie Dye, local childcare consultant for Cultural Care Au Pair, said that the firefighters from Boulder Rural and some from the Mountain View Fire Protection District meet up for the meal.

“It’s really an amazing way to share culture,” Dye said. “As the au pair community in the area has grown, so has our potluck.”

Right now there are au pairs from all over Latin America and Europe, Asia, South Africa and Australia.

“It really is this amazing experience that doesn’t happen in a lot of places,” Dye said. “These young people are able to sit down and show their gratitude to the firefighters, but also celebrate the food together. It’s something we enjoy each year.”

Au pairs are people from other countries who stay with someone to provide childcare and housework in exchange for room and board. Since all cultures vary, the safety training is very important, Dye said.

Julie Dye

Au pairs make pizza for the annual dinner with the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District firefighters.

“All of the au pairs come from different countries,” Dye said. “The issues with fire safety that may come up are also different. A lot of them may live in a basement, so we want to make sure they’re safe. A lot of families aren’t actively practicing fire safety. When these au pairs arrive at a home they become part of the family, but they don’t know what to do in an emergency.”

She said the organization and the host families are grateful for the help from firefighters.

“The firefighters have been extremely welcoming and informative,” Dye said. “It’s really a highlight for our au pairs to see a fire station. It’s a way for them to connect to our local community and give back to an organization that welcomes us in every time. The partnership has been really extraordinary for us, we’re really lucky to have them.”


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