Local students have turned their hands at the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services (LFES) training facility last week as part of the Try the Trades program.
Students were able to experience cutting open a car, breaking down a door, and navigating through a smoke filled building during their time at the training facility on November 16th.
LFES was one of almost 30 worksites that participated in the Try the Trades program, which allows students the chance to try out a variety of different career paths.
Deputy Chief of Training and Safety for LFES, Gerrit Sinke, says “this is the first time out department has participated in this event, we were excited to showcase what we do and were also able to work it into our own training, having our 10 new recruits lead the program.”
Students who took part were rotated through different training areas with recruits and experienced department members guiding them through the activities they were doing. Some of these activities involved both fire and medical scenarios.
During rescue training, students were suited up to the nines, with full firefighter gear, and got a closer look at what all is involved in rescue training, which included doing forced door entry with specialized tools and learning the techniques.
Students also got to experience how vehicle extractions are done but cutting through metal using the Jaws of Life. Students were then able to take on medical training and practiced CPR and were able to evaluate their success using the same tech that Lethbridge paramedics use on a daily basis.
There was even a fire scenario were students used oxygen tanks and face masks before entering the training tower that was filled with smoke, where they made their way up to the top of the third floor where they navigated through a maze of metal cased in full equipment.
“I really hope the students walked away with an appreciation for what it takes to be a firefighter and paramedic,” says Sinke. “And for some, I also hope that we maybe sparked that passion for public service. This is a rewarding and exciting career.”
The Try the Trades program is put on by the Lethbridge School Division in partnership with the Holy Spirit, Horizon, and Palliser School Divisions. this year 300 students participated in a variety of work experiences across the region. The next event for Try the Trades is set to take place in Spring 2023.