Area high school students complete their first course in becoming firefighters

Devin Martin
Created: January 16, 2021 06:57 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- High school students from Rochester and the surrounding areas had the chance to chase their dreams of becoming firefighters one day. A program called High School Student Live Burn Training offered by the Rochester Fire Department (RFD) provided this opportunity to secondary students.

In Saturday's event, students were assigned to locate and extinguish live fires in a structure under the guidance of RFD firefighters, “It's awesome. You know, they come in and they're excited. This is all brand new to them, their eyes light up. It's an exciting time for us veteran firefighters to pass on the torch a little bit, pass on some of that knowledge and helping them however we can,” Caleb Feine, public information officer for the Rochester Fire Department said.

Around 32 high school students participated in the program. They are a part of the Firefighter One class. They've been taking the class since September and Saturday marked the final burn, incorporating all the skills they've learned into one final test.

Two high school students we spoke to say they were up to the challenge, "Well, today was super fun to experience and actually get the chance to see and touch fire, the other days really prepared us for this,” Lauren Raymond said.

Another student said this helped her realize firefighting is a career she wants to pursue, “It was definitely a good character builder. It taught me a lot of different things. Just keep pushing through and get better at everything, yeah I loved it,” Kaitlyn Weiss said.

This is the second year of the program. RFD says 32 students from Rochester, Stewartville, Pine Island and Byron enrolled in this year’s program. Their curriculum continues through the school year as they move into Firefighter II and Hazardous Materials Instruction next. Students who complete the course earn a state certification and college credits.

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