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HMS Students Get Hands-on Lessons in Fire Science

In honor of Fire Prevention Week earlier this month, Grade 8 students from Highland Middle School (HMS) visited their local fire department to participate in a unique, hands-on approach to learning about fire safety.

During their visit to the Highland Fire District Headquarters on October 24 and 25, the students were introduced to the field of fire science. Fire instructor Jeff Dimetro explained that fire science uses principles of science and engineering to study the causes, effects, and prevention of fire, and that it encompasses everything from fire management and fire behavior to fire investigation.

Students got to explore those areas further through a series of activities set up throughout the fire station. The young firefighters-in-training got to try their hands at using fire hoses and fire extinguishers (utilizing a “live fire” simulator), practice hands-only CPR taught by a certified instructor from the American Heart Association, figure out how to escape an unfamiliar building, and complete a firefighter breathe down drill, which tested their ability to perform a series of highly physical actions often utilized while fighting a fire.

Students also got to hear first-hand from fire department members about the benefits of becoming involved in the volunteer service.

This annual field trip has become a favorite for HMS Assistant Principal Meghan Connors. “The students are able to learn directly from community members who belong to the fire department and who truly believe in keeping the community safe,” she said, adding that the experience is one that the students will hopefully remember and carry with them throughout the rest of their education.

“It was wonderful to see them excited, interested, engaged, and most of all, enjoying every moment and being whole-heartedly present in each activity,” she said. “I am proud to be a part of a community that offers such meaningful opportunities for our students!”