Local students build training course for firefighters

Student carpenters of the Olathe Public Schools Construction Trades Program built a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Confidence Course for the Olathe Fire Department. SCBA provide firefighters with breathable air when they are in a hazardous atmosphere such as a house fire. The course is designed to help safely improve firefighter knowledge and self-assurance; and, the ability to function in challenging situations while using SCBA.

The building of the wooden course began last September by 17 Construction Trades Program student carpenters, who represent three local school districts (Olathe, Blue Valley and Spring Hill) and Kansas School for the Deaf.  The project was managed by Construction Trades Instructor Gary Anderson and designed by OFD Captain Dan Crall.

The course is 12 feet wide, 16 feet long and 12 feet tall. The course offers at least nine different configurations for SCBA training scenarios. Additionally, the course’s center has a vertical shaft, which gives firefighters a place to sharpen their confined space rescue skills. Learn more about the Olathe Public Schools Construction Trades Program at http://goo.gl/XOnXvT.

Farmers Insurance provided $5,000, which purchased all of the course’s building materials for the student carpenters and OFD.

Fire Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid said, “We are so fortunate to have partners like Farmers Insurance and the Olathe Public Schools.” He added, “Partnerships like this make you feel great about the Olathe community.”

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