CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – Students and teachers from the Humphreys Middle School Learning Impaired Moderate to Severe program visited Camp Humphreys’ Fire Station 4 for a hands-on learning experience Nov. 1.
“We want to make sure our students understand the role of the fire department and how much they help,” said Lori Pyers-Goodwin, Humphreys Middle School fifth through eighth grade LIMS teacher. “Also, how they can help be an active part of fire safety, so that was a big emphasis for us and part of their life skills curriculum.”
The firefighters, Pyers-Goodwin, and HMS paraprofessionals helped guide the class through Station 4, showing the students the different parts of the conventional fire truck and heavy rescue vehicle.
“For their visit, I want to show the students how the fire trucks operate, also how all the equipment works as we are assessing it, and in the field when we respond,” said Hwang Song-tok, a firefighter assigned to Station 4.
The students climbed inside the trucks to learn about what the buttons and levers do. They also hopped out every once in a while to touch the attached hoses and valves.
“Today was the first time that my class has had the opportunity to come to the fire station in several years, so we are very happy we got to come,” said Pyers-Goodwin. “Community-based intervention is our fancy word for a field trip.”
When Pyers-Goodwin and her class arrived, the firefighters of Station 4 already had the trucks clean and equipment ready for the children to explore. The students separated into two groups for a hands-on experience guided by the Humphreys firefighters.
“We have a multi-use tool which we use to make forceful entry to a room, a hammer, that has a stabilize bar for when we have to lift something, so this is a tool we carry when we have to make a response,” said Hwang.
Firefighters encouraged the students to directly explore the tools and personal protective equipment as they explained what each did.
"We carry an automatic external defibrillator so we can do cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures; our gas detector, to make sure the air around the area is safe; our personal protection equipment; and most important, self-contained breathing apparatus. Firefighter wears even to a fire alarm deactivation,” explained Hwang. “It is 50 pounds worth of equipment worn.”
Throughout the 30-minute visit, Pyers-Goodwin encouraged her students to interact with the firefighters so both sides could learn from each other.
“I consider myself incredibly blessed I get to work with these students because they always remind me there is so much more to learn, and everyone has so much they can contribute,” said Pyers-Goodwin. “My students really can do anything they desire. What they can accomplish is beyond the limits.”