Middle Schoolers Learn Firefighting Skills - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/14/04

Middle Schoolers Learn Firefighting Skills

A young firefighter makes a rescue. A young firefighter makes a rescue.

When you were a kid, did you ever want to be a firefighter? Lots of kids do. Today middle school students in Beaufort learned what being a firefighter is all about, going through a mini fire academy. For the past eight weeks, firefighters have been teaching middle schoolers all about the fire service, and today they put their skills to the test.

This group of Beaufort Middle School students got suited up and ready to put their newly learned firefighting skills into action as they attempted to rescue a trapped baby inside a simulated house on fire. But they had to fight the smoke.

"It's very, very hard, the equipment gets a little heavy and hot and it's really hard to see," said student Catherine Couch. "I really think it's cool that they can do it every day."

Throughout this eight-week enrichment program, Beaufort firefighters have been exposing the students to the fire service and teaching them fire safety skills and techniques. But the students are taking away more than what they've been taught. They're learning just how important firefighters are to our community.

"They do a lot more than what you think they do," said student Matthew Harmon. "They don't just carry hoses and put out fires, they go to accidents."

Now as these students graduate from the program, firefighters are hoping they'll remember the important skills they've learned, not to mention the self-confidence they've built. "We taught them a lot about smoke detectors, escaping drills, hopefully they'll talk to their families about it to help the entire community," said fire marshal Dan Byrne.

"It was so much fun for all of us," said firefighter Lee Levesque. "It was a learning experience and we're confident these kids are going to spread the word about fire safety."

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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