exercise by Glendale firefighters to teach ninth-graders how to use
"The younger we can teach them, the better," said firefighter
Steve Keys, who showed the students in Kimberley Sinclair's health
class how to use the emergency devices. "A lot of these kids are home
alone at this age and may need these skills."
Firefighter Brent Mason, who used flares to light paint trays full
of diesel so the 14- and 15-year-olds could practice extinguishing
the controlled blazes, agreed.
"Kids need a chance to get their hands on fire extinguishers,"
Mason said, "so if they ever have to use them, they are familiar with
The students practiced at the school's shotput area because it is
made of dirt and nothing else flammable, Sinclair said. Firefighters
have instructed her classes for the past 10 years, she said.
The students also learned how smoke detectors work and how to make
fire escape plans at their home.
"This is cognitive learning," Sinclair said. "When they see
someone else demonstrating the skills, they see that they can do it
For Edgar, 15, it was the first time he had used an extinguisher.
"It was easy," he said. "The fire was not that big. When you aim
low, the fire extinguisher takes it out fast."
When Galo sprayed the extinguisher, Keys told him to swipe the
nozzle back and forth to thoroughly cover the flames.
"It's good to know, because I never know when there might be a
fire in my house, and it's important to use a fire extinguisher," the
The lesson not only keeps the students safe, but their families as
well, Sinclair said.
"A lot of kids don't have fire extinguishers," she said. "After
this, they go out and buy them."