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Edgerton middle schoolers are firefighters for a day

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David Brazy
June 4, 2011
— Edgerton Middle School students sprayed fire hoses and searched dark classrooms Friday as they experienced what it would be like to be a firefighter.

The Edgerton Fire Department set up stations at the school and had eighth-grade students try out equipment.


The activities included students spraying fire hoses to knock down cones, putting out a small fire with an extinguisher, riding a truck ladder 100 feet in the air and learning about ambulance equipment.


Some students donned firefighting gear, crawled into a dark classroom and used a thermal imaging camera to find a "victim." Firefighter Adam Walton said the gear, including an oxygen tank, weighs about 65 pounds. After a few minutes of crawling in the dark, students emerged sweaty and tired.


Eighth-graders Karissa Finco and Allie Lawrence said their favorite part of the day was using the fire hoses. The students had relay races between the boys and girls to see which group could knock down the cones the fastest.


Walton said the kids were having fun while learning important lessons.


Inside the school, Tom Freeman, firefighter and emergency medical technician, showed students how to react if someone needs medical attention.


"At some point, someone from the school will be on a scene when we arrive, and we are going to have a great outcome with that patient," Freeman said. "It really makes a difference."


Freeman told the students to plan with their families for a natural disaster.


Edgerton Fire Chief Brian Demrow said the demonstrations were a good way to get the kids thinking about pursuing a career as a firefighter or EMT.


"These kids are going to be entering high school next year, and this is a good time for them to start thinking about a possible career path," Demrow said.


As the weather began to warm Friday, some kids ran through jets of water from the fire hose to cool off.


Walton said they could not have pulled off the event without help from teachers, firefighters and EMTs.


"All the guys volunteered to come up," Walton said. "Some of them even took off from work or have to work night shifts so they would normally be sleeping right now."


After lunch, the students watched firefighters and EMTS in action as they dealt with a mock accident. The display included a helicopter landing in the parking lot to airlift the injured to a nearby hospital.



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