CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – Students and teachers from the Humphreys Middle School Learning program with moderate to severe disabilities visited Camp Humphreys Fire Hall 4 for a hands-on learning experience on November 1.
“We want to make sure our students understand the role of firefighters and how much they help,” said Lori Pyers-Goodwin, LIMS teacher in grades 5-8 at Humphreys Middle School. “Also, how they can help actively participate in fire safety, so that was a priority for us and part of their life skills curriculum. “
Firefighters, Pyers-Goodwin and paraprofessionals from HMS helped guide the class through Station 4, showing 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 work, as well as how all the equipment works as we assess it, and in the field when we intervene,” said Hwang Song- tok, a firefighter assigned to station 4.
The students climbed inside the trucks to learn what the buttons and levers are used for. They also jumped from time to time to touch the attached pipes and valves.
“Today was the first time that my class had the opportunity to come to the fire station in several years, so we are very happy to have been able to come,” said Pyers-Goodwin. “Community intervention is our magic word for a field trip. “
By the time Pyers-Goodwin and his class arrived, the firefighters at Station 4 had already cleaned the trucks and prepared equipment for the children to explore. The students split into two groups for a hands-on experience guided by the Humphreys firefighters.
“We have a multi-tool that we use to force enter a part, a hammer, that has a stabilizer bar when we need to lift something, so it’s a tool that we carry when we need to respond,”, Hwang said.
The firefighters encouraged the students to directly explore the tools and personal protective equipment as they explained what each was doing.
“We wear an automatic external defibrillator so that we can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures; our gas detector, to make sure the air around the area is safe; our personal protective equipment; and most importantly, a self-contained breathing apparatus. The firefighter even carries a deactivation of the fire alarm, “Hwang explained.” It’s worth 50 pounds of used equipment. “
Throughout the 30-minute tour, Pyers-Goodwin encouraged his students to interact with the firefighters so that both parties could learn from each other.
“I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to work with these students because they always remind me that there is so much more to learn and that everyone has so much they can contribute,” said Pyers-Goodwin. “My students can really do whatever they want. What they can accomplish is beyond limits.