Two new storage containers modified to help train firefighting students arrived at Western Hills High School Friday, May 5.
The smaller of the two containers holds various firefighting tools and equipment that the students use throughout their time in the class. An additional 40ft container was also delivered and is modified for firefighting training simulations.
“We've done a few modifications like this where we've added doors or vents or windows, but this is our first project like this,” said Katie Smiley, Regional Sales Manager for ConexTalk. “This is such an awesome opportunity and it's really special to be here and meet the kids that this project is assisting.”
The 40ft container features crawl tunnels and a makeshift window for the students to practice rescue scenarios.
“One of the features of the containers is the students see what it's like to be in a small enclosed area,” said Willie Jones, teacher for the fire program at Western Hills. “It helps us identify if any of those students have possibly claustrophobic tendencies so we could address it to help them.”
Jones said the container can even hold artificial smoke to replicate the intense sight constraints a firefighter has when undergoing a rescue in a burning building.
To celebrate the arrival of these innovative refurbishments, a special firefighting demonstration was held at the school in partnership with Cincinnati Fire Department. The demonstration showcased the container's various features and allowed students to participate in hands-on training exercises.
The event showcased abilities the students learned over the course of the program including climbing ladders, using a fire hose, operating a chainsaw and axe.
“Those are some of the many tools firefighters use in everyday life, to save people's lives in the event of a fire,” said Jones.
Graduating senior, Diamond Arnold said her time in the class has helped her in overcoming her fears and was excited to show her progress throughout the class.
“I used to have a really bad fear of heights before this class and I really overcame it. Now I feel like it's my best skill,” said Arnold.