Students learn fire prevention safety tips

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published November 16, 2016


CENTER LINE/WARREN — Center Line Public Schools students joined together last month for an important lesson in fire safety.

On Oct. 28, students from the Center Line High School firefighting class visited kindergarten and first-grade students to share with them several fire prevention safety tips.

The firefighting class at CLHS is part of the Southwest Macomb Technical Education Consortium. The SMTEC is a partnership between the Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke and Warren Woods districts that provides career technical education to 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students. The CLHS students, under instructor Robert Plotzke, led the presentation for kindergarten classes at Crothers Elementary School.

“We’re here to teach you some things we’ve been learning through the course,” senior Adriana Badalamenti said.

During the visit, the young students viewed a PowerPoint presentation about fire safety in one classroom, and in the next room they saw the equipment that firefighters use and wear when fighting fires or assisting at accidents. Each high school student had a specific job to do.

“Fire and smoke are bad,” senior Austin Wheeling said. “When there is a fire, you should drop to the ground and crawl to a window or door to get out. Get outside as fast as you can.”

If a door is shut, feel it with the back of your hand, Wheeling told the students. And when firefighters arrive, let them “know you are outside.” The high school students reminded Crothers students to have a meeting place outside for the family so Mom and Dad know everyone got out of the house safely. Senior Tyler Wright then showed the Crothers students the helmets that firefighters wear to keep themselves safe, while Wheeling explained the purpose of their air tanks and masks.

“This is basically a bottle of air,” Wheeling said. “We wear masks (so) we’re not breathing the dirty air from the smoke and the fire.”

Senior Asia Lee then explained the importance of having smoke detectors in the home and demonstrated how they work.

In the second classroom, a crawl space was set up with tables and ropes so the students could experience how to crawl out of a house or building if there was a fire. Seniors Noah Tanski-Jett and Connie Schumborg also showed the students a pike pole and a halligan bar.

“It’s a firefighter’s best friend,” Schumborg said of the halligan bar. “You can break through walls, doors, anything. We can break locks. It can help us climb things.”

“A pike pole, they stab it through the ceiling to rip down the drywall and any ceiling that’s there,” Tanski-Jett said.

Through the SMTEC, firefighting, emergency medical services and law enforcement classes are offered at CLHS. The classes offer the basics in each profession and also provide on-the-field experiences.

CLHS also uses the Project Based Learning initiative. Project Based Learning, also known as PBL, is a school improvement strategy designed to make content and learning directly related to students’ lives. It begins with a real-world problem or question, and the students undergo a process of research and collaboration to generate the solution. For their visit to Crothers, the CLHS students planned, collaborated and executed their presentation as a team.