Killeen ISD Fire Academy cadets showed parents, instructors and other observers firefighting techniques during a live-fire demonstration May 24 at the training site at Conder Park.
The 13 high school juniors from all four Killeen Independent School District high schools are completing their first year of the two-year firefighter and emergency medical technician program. Cadets who complete the course will be certified firefighters and basic EMTs.
Killeen Fire Department instructors watched closely over the high school cadets during their first live fire exercise.
Cadets worked in teams of four to extinguish fires on a metal rack called a “Christmas tree,” as well as flames in a dumpster, a vehicle and a propane tank.
Each team approached the blaze with fire hose in hand and walked toward it single file. Crouching inches from the flames, they extinguished it, stood up and backed away in single file, never turning their backs on the fire.
At the end, cadets performed 50 pushups in full gear because a propane tank pop-off valve was extinguished and not allowed to blow, which prevents a tank from exploding in an actual explosion. Though the tank was actually empty, the cadets worked as though they were in a dangerous situation with a full tank.
First-year cadets learned the basics of hoses, ladders, gear, their breathing apparatus, how fire acts, pump theory and building construction and ventilation. They must pass exams in order to progress to the next phase of training.
In their second year, cadets will learn the basics of being an EMT and dealing with hazardous materials and will extinguish a building.
Parents and others in attendance applauded the efforts of their cadets and were appreciative of the district and Killeen Fire Department for offering such an opportunity for their children to be ready for the workforce after graduation.