CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Students at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center participated in a training exercise on Friday that gave them a taste of what it is like to be firefighter.
Friday was the last day of a seven-month training program for students in the career center’s public safety program.
“The actual fire will be built right here at the end of this compartment,” instructor Tom O’Hara said.
The flames were a part of a mock fire to teach the students real lessons about work and life.
“Teamwork is most important, just safety. Really trust your instincts cause that is your best reliable thing to do to know that you are going to be safe,” O’Hara said.
Putting on their gear and grabbing the hose is a part of the hands-on experience O’Hara said the students need.
“As the year has gone on, they have found the realization of this is real life or death, and bad things can happen,” he said.
Recently, firefighters have lost their lives in the line of duty. Just this week, a firefighter in Cincinnati was killed while in a burning building.
It is a reality Maria Haynes of Canfield is faced with as she prepares for a career in this field.
“It is very real but at the same time, someone has to do the job. It is very heroic, I guess. It does scare you but I think it just makes you be more cautious about being safe yourself and it shows you that it really can happen to you,” Haynes said.
For the instructors, they want to make sure students understand that.
“Stress the importance of our real life experiences that we have had and try to relate them to the students,” O’Hara said.
Even if the students decide later that they don’t want to be firefighters, they can use the skills they learned in the program elsewhere.
“Find the realization that life goes on and we are trying to create for them life skills that will benefit in their future endeavors,” O’Hara said.
This seven-month training is a part of the public safety program at the career center.
The center offers many programs to help high school students get the education and training in certain career fields.