SIOUX FALLS, SD -
As students prepare to go back to class at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, resident assistants are getting hands-on training in fire safety.
This is the third year Augustana's held the seminar right before the start of the school year. And the more than two dozen RAs involved say it'll help them prepare for the worst.
This isn't your normal fire-safety lecture. While participation remains the most critical part of the class, this one is a little more active.
"You can sit down and learn it by book or Powerpoint, but this gives them a little more hands-on training, so hopefully, they actually retain it a little more," Augustana campus safety director Rick Tupper said.
Tupper says the idea behind students running with a uniform on, spraying the hose and putting out small fires is to get them thinking about all the possibilities.
"When stress goes up, your brain kind of goes to mush at times," Tupper said. "You fall back into what you're familiar with and comfortable with, so we want to give them that familiarity."
"It's been a little overwhelming and stuff, but it's a good group of people to keep your morale up," junior Kyle Blake said.
Blake says the training's been difficult, but also fun.
"It's kind of hard to balance it all out sometimes, but we're getting it done," Blake said.
"We're all taking pictures in our fire gear and stuff, so it's fun," sophomore Claire Bestul said.
Even though students will never wear a firefighter's uniform or even use a fire hose, Tupper says knowledge of the equipment and the job a firefighter does will help the RAs in an emergency situation.
"The staff that we have, once an alarm sounds, they'll also coordinate with the firefighters when they arrive," Tupper said. "So, it kind of gives them a chance to mesh with them and learn what they do and appreciate what they do."
"It's really cool and also very important," sophomore Amanda Strenge said. "It's just really informative with information that everyone needs to know."
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will put on the same demonstration for resident assistants at the University of Sioux Falls on Thursday.
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