“It’s just something they can learn and they can take it with them and say, ‘Oh, I know how to do that,” Schalk said, before describing a real-life situation where a former student used her training to put out a kitchen fire.
“She came back and told us about it and thanked us,” Schalk said. “That’s the biggest payment in the world right there.”
Exciting and informative, the exercise also introduced participants to the five different classes of fires (A B, C, D and K), coded by materials involved.
Sophomore John Hadden, who had never used a fire extinguisher before, took on the training fire with one of the extinguishers, expertly dousing the flames in seconds.
“It was different than I imagined it,” Hadden said. “The handle was different than I thought it would feel and in the movies, it always looks really, really foamy.”
Hadden also commented on the lack of fire safety training and proper emergency response among young college students.
“All the college students like me, that live in an apartment or on-campus housing and have fire extinguishers, have no idea how to use them,” Hadden said. “We still wouldn’t know what it feels like to pick up a fire extinguisher.”
Edward Przybylko, an EH&S compliance officer, stood by with an intense video presentation about bicycle, skateboarding and pedestrian safety, which heavily featured real accident footage.
“We’re handing out the laws that protect, as well as showing people their responsibilities, whether you’re on a bicycle or if you’re a pedestrian,” Przybylko said, offering students a 52-page guide of walking and riding laws by the Florida Bicycle Association.
The USF division of EH&S offers a large variety of free training programs, including courses on laboratory safety, blood borne pathogens, hazardous waste and risk management. For more information, vist the website.
The EH&S demonstration went on during the busiest hours of Bull Market’s spring debut, which also featured organizations like Club Creole and USF Women in Business Society and representatives from local vendors and apartment complexes.