RCHS Fire Science class trains with live fire
PARKER – For most students, getting real-life job experience while still in high school can be priceless. For the students in the Fire Science class at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS), this scenario recently became a reality.
The RCHS Fire Science class assembled at the South Metro Fire and Rescue Training Facility in Parker on April 4. They started their day with a short briefing and tour of the training facility from Littleton Fire and Rescue professionals.
“We’re going to teach about fire behavior, from incipient stage to full burn, do fire rescue and actually put the fire out,” said Littleton Fire and Rescue’s Sara Banks. She added, “This is a great opportunity for them to understand what we do as firefighters, the risks that are involved and the training that we have to go through to do our jobs successfully.”
Each participant was donned with a complete set of firefighting gear, from boots, pants, jackets and gloves to the ever-classic firefighting helmet. As the students strapped on their respirators, you could see concern in the eyes of some.
“There is definitely some concern when they feel the heat for the first time, and they realize that they are in an environment that they are typically not supposed to be in,” stated Josh Meneses of Littleton Fire and Rescue.
But for some, like RCHS Fire Science student Hadyn Drabing, calm nerves prevailed.
“You’re in several thousands of dollars of gear, in a room with professionals, so I don’t think it’s a very dangerous atmosphere.”
RCHS Fire Science Instructor George Piccone said that he was fully confident in what his students had learned throughout the year.
“What we’re achieving today is putting the entire year of learning together, in operation; they can see it, they can do it under the conditions they would actually do it in a fire.”
Banks added, “This is very similar to what you would do in the Fire One Academy, so they actually get to experience what firefighters do when they are training.”
After a complete run-through of pulling up in a fire truck with full sirens going, connecting hoses to the fire hydrant and entering and extinguishing the fire in the burning training building, the students exhibited both a feeling of relief and exhilaration.
“When the flames came and they went over our heads, that was really neat because I’ve never seen that before and just being that close to fire was really cool,” exclaimed RCHS student Ashley Boatman.
Drabing concluded, “I thought it would be more scary and intimidating but there was nothing really scary about it. It was neat to be that close to it.”