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High school students experience first-hand what it's like to be a firefighter

Jaclyn Harold
Updated: January 25, 2020 07:11 PM
Created: January 25, 2020 06:54 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A hands-on experience as a firefighter was the spark these students needed to consider a career in fighting fires in their future.

"I've always been really interested in public safety and being a firefighter, and my dad was with the Byron Fire Department for a while," said Preston Satzke, Byron High School student. The teen along with several other students from different schools in the area have been taking fire courses for a few months now, "It caught my attention as a unique course and I'd never really considered it until I started the class and started learning about it," said Lily Wildfeuer, a student from Century High School. 

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The students that are enrolled in the fire curriculum courses have been learning a lot about what it takes to become a firefighter, but officials say, Saturday was the first time they got to put everything they've been reading about to the test.

"Today we're bringing it all together at our training tower. They're getting their first chance to actually go into our burn box to see what conditions are like when there's a real fire," said Capt. Brett Knapp.

Wildfeuer said she didn't really know what to expect walking into the burn box, but she knew that confidence would play a big role in getting the job done, "They close the doors and the fire starts burning and the heat starts coming down on you, it gets all smokey and it's harder to see. And then once you start putting the fire out, a bunch of smoke comes at you and it's just kind of knowing what to do and focusing and not really letting it bother you and just know you can fight it," said Wildfeuer.

Though some of the students are a little on the fence about a career in firefighting Capt. Knapp says the demo is a foot in the door.

"The idea here is to try and expose students when they're in a high school level of education and get them exposure to firefighting and get them to learn about it,"  said Capt. Knapp.


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