Students learn to combat flames

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 9, 2009

Flames were blazing at the Troy-Pike Center for Technology this week, but don’t worry those students didn’t let the fires go long.

As part of national Fire Safety Week, students at the career center spent time with members of the Troy Fire Department to learn proper ways to extinguish a fire.

A course led by Lt. Mike Rhodes taught students all there is to know about using a fire extinguisher, from how it operates to when it needs to be used.

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But what health science instructor Gilda Belcher said was the best part was her class organized the entire event.

“The students plan community activities and plan a variety of things,” Belcher said.

While the health science class and the members of Health Occupation Students of America worked to bring the event to campus, those weren’t the only ones who participated in the course.

All students from the career center were invited to attend a short lecture, followed by a fire extinguisher demonstration led by firemen Alan Pennington and Willie McGuire.

“They really enjoyed the program,” Belcher said. “They’ve heard of fire extinguishers, but I would say the majority have never used one.”

So for many students, they had a first-time experience of pulling the lever and extinguishing the flames.

“They got to see how much it weighs because they are heavy. One of the first girls tried to pull it and couldn’t get the lever out. She finally got it and put out the fire,” Belcher said.

“One of the others sprayed it but wasn’t pointing at the fire.”

While the fire safety course was something Belcher said was productive for her students, it isn’t the only community project they do.

Belcher said the class brings speakers from the community throughout the year, such as business leaders.

“They tell students what they look for in perspective employers,” Belcher said. “It helps having them as an employer enforce what we teach in class.”

The class also works to help the community by holding blood drives throughout the year.