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Boulder Fire Rescue teaches CU students fire safety
Last Saturday, 28 CU students began their day by being a mock fire fighter. Student leaders from sororities, fraternities and student government were given the opportunity to learn more about fire safety and evacuation methods in order to better prepare themselves and friends if the worst were to happen in a fire emergency.
Not everybody is able to attend this event, you must be recommended by the president of your organization, then go through an application process. Gretchen Goswitz, risk manager for Kappa Alpha Theta, was one of the select few. “You have to write like why you want to come to the academy, what you’ll take away from it and how you think going will benefit you. And, um, you even have to send in a transcript.”
This is the tenth year that Boulder Fire Rescue has hosted this event, called the Leadership Fire Academy, in hopes of giving students valuable information to share with their peers. The goal is to let them know how important it is to keep hallways and stairwells clear, as well as other safety methods. The students rotate through various activities. These include proper fire extinguisher use, search and rescue techniques, simulation of the evacuation of a five-story building filled with smoke, dragging dummies and fire hoses, and all the while wearing full fire fighter gear.
Fire safety educator from Boulder Fire Rescue, Sherry Kenyon, believes that these demonstrations are beneficial for students and help decrease fire risks and hazards in their various houses. “I think the interaction between the firefighters and students is absolutely critical to building those good relationships and respect. You can’t describe to somebody what it’s like to not have that visibility [in a fire]. You don’t have the tools of using your sight sense to help you find your way out.”
Students agree that this training has given them a new found appreciation for what they do. Brittany Nelson, a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, described her experience, “It definitely gives you a sense of dead weight, and what you’d have to do if you had to pull someone out of a fire. And it kind of makes you think about prevention a lot more to make sure you never have to do something about that.”