Vernon Hills students take on fire challenge

  • Vernon Hills High School senior David Deng navigates how to carry or drag a "victim" mannequin after carrying a hose and crawling through a tube in the Countryside Fire Combat Challenge while wearing firefighter gear and an air pack. The challenge was part of an activity in the Life Integration of Food & Exercise class.

    Vernon Hills High School senior David Deng navigates how to carry or drag a "victim" mannequin after carrying a hose and crawling through a tube in the Countryside Fire Combat Challenge while wearing firefighter gear and an air pack. The challenge was part of an activity in the Life Integration of Food & Exercise class. Courtesy of Tony Rodkey

 
 
Updated 10/15/2021 12:05 PM

Vernon Hills High School students in the hybrid class Life Integration of Food and Exercise recently experienced the Countryside Fire Combat Challenge.

The students had the opportunity to try to understand the importance of firefighter fitness by wearing gear such as the bunker coat, helmet and gloves, as well as an air pack on their backs. They then added a hose on their shoulder, carried it 50 feet, dropped it, then crawled through a 20-foot long tub.

 

After that they had to grab a victim (mannequin) and drag or carry it 60 feet; crawl back through the tube; pick up the hose and carry it to the finish line.

Teachers Kelley Whitescarver and John Pagani, who co-teach the class for VHHS, have worked with Fire & Life Safety Director Tony Rodkey and approached him for ideas. Rodkey has provided kitchen fire safety lessons in foods classes and CPR/first aid lessons in health classes for Whitescarver and Pagani the past 14 years.

"We have set up the combat challenge for the VHHS Senior Party following graduation about the past 14 years so, I figured we could do the same for this class of 39 students," Rodkey said.

"It is a part of the entire course, downsized so kids who do not have the fitness level can participate and have fun while learning the importance of proper diet and exercise."

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"It was an amazing opportunity for the students, and I thank the fire district for helping make it happen," Whitescarver said.

This program helped promote fire safety as well. The students assisted stretching a banner donated by State Farm Insurance with the 2021 Fire Prevention Week Theme "Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety" graphics.

For more information, go to www.countrysidefire.com.

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