Seventeen students from Taft High School and Waldport High have participated in the Future Natural Resource Leaders Fire School at Camp Tadmor. The students participated in classroom lessons, field training, and mock skills tests. The event featured public and private wildland firefighters.
The Lincoln County School District is able to offer these opportunities as part of its Career and Technical Education programs, which is funded by Measure 98 dollars aimed to get youth trained in vocational trades that build valuable career-ready skills.
Majalise Tolan, Secondary Teaching and Learning Administrator, said, “It is important to LCSD to support local industry and the community needs when utilizing Measure 98 funds and expanding or enhancing our career and technical programs. These students learned, practiced, and were evaluated on skills necessary for high demand jobs that are important to our community and state. Our teachers are continuing to work together to provide more opportunities across the district for all of our students.”
At fire school, kids learn a lot about wildland firefighting and the science behind fire, wrote Jeff Skirvin, CTE Teacher for Waldport Middle and High School.
“But the most amazing thing about fire school is during the 3 miles, 45-pound backpack test, the all-day wildland fire training where Lincoln County kids placed 2nd in the fire line digging competition, our students showed grit,” he said. “It was raining, they were up to their knees in mud. They were cold. And they worked hard all day. I've never been more proud of a group of young students than I was at fire school this year. With all of the negative connotations that are attached to this generation due to their overuse of x-boxes and iPhones and things that I don't even know about, we watch kids at fire school excel and show good communication skills, perseverance, a sense of empathy and team ambition all day, every day. We truly can be proud of our Lincoln City and Waldport children.”
Waldport Middle and High School, 10th grade student, Savana Eppinghaus said, "It was a great learning experience. It was hard work, but it was lots of fun. I would definitely do it again. Actually, I think everyone who is interested in forestry should do it at least once. They have it really well organized and everything is together."
A Taft 12th grade student, Giovanni Salazar, said, “Fire School was by far the best experience I have had in a work environment. The hands-on work showed me what it takes to be a wildland firefighter. It is definitely a career path I will be pursuing.”
— Lincoln County School District