These confined space training specialists will be teaching students the basics of fire safety after attending a workshop this Saturday.
At the ninth annual Leadership Fire Training Academy for CU, 28 students representing various fraternities, sororities and other student groups participated in an education process for basic fire safety and awareness
The training occurred on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The students gained a working knowledge of what they can do if a fire occurs, how to prevent fires and how to build healthy relationships between student organizations and the Boulder Fire Department.
Elise Goretsky, former Panhellenic member-education trainer, said that to participate, the student leaders need to be recommended, fill out an application and have good standing within their respective groups.
The selected leaders then go through a detailed, firefighter-led, eight-hour training so that they can educate their peers about fire safety.
One of the program ideals is that the best way to teach CU students fire safety is through other CU students.
“We like to have the student leaders teach other students the information they’ve learned,” said Sherry Kenyon, Boulder’s fire safety education coordinator.
Student leaders do everything from classroom education and fire extinguisher practice to donning personal protective equipment, running up five flights of stairs and practicing extracting victims from a building.
While the actual training is physically taxing, Kenyon said the Boulder Fire Department takes safety precautions by informing the students of the physicality of the training and by asking participants to wear protective clothing.
She said she has learned that college students are the demographic most at risk of fire danger.
“On average, 16 CU students lose homes to fire each year,” she said. “The last three big apartment fires were caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.”
She said the Leadership Fire Training Academy also runs a program educating residence hall advisors about fire safety and prevention.
Nick Gilman, a 21-year-old junior mechanical engineering major representing Sigma Pi, said after training with the Boulder Fire Department, he now knows he would be able to react appropriately should a fire occur.
“If a fire were to happen, I would feel comfortable knowing how to handle it,” Gilman said.
Julie Morgan, a 20-year-old junior political science major who interns with Kenyon, said the academy teaches students to be more aware of their environment.
“Fire training teaches you to be more conscious of your surroundings and safety in your house,” Morgan said.
David Lowrey, who has been a firefighter for 14 years, said the academy is very important to the Boulder Fire Department.
Training is a “fun day with underlying messages,” Lowrey said.
He said he would like students to walk away with with a better understanding of firefighter’ jobs.
“Firefighters’ jobs are more difficult than it appears,” he said.
Goretsky said the training does provide this understanding.
The fire training “gives you a whole new respect for firefighters,” she said.
Malinda Miller-Huey, CU spokesperson, and Kenyon both said that since the beginning of the program, the Boulder Fire Department and CU officials have seen a positive increase in response to fire alarms. Miller-Huey and Kenyon also said the Leadership Fire Training Academy is now the national model for campus fire safety training.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alex Lemley at Alexandria.email@example.com.