Students at Educational Service Unit 13’s Meridian School in Scottsbluff got to be amateur firefighters Wednesday.
Four Scottsbluff Fire Department firefighters visited the school to teach students all about water and let them try spraying a fire hose.
“We want them to learn the importance of water … when it comes to their body, the importance of conservation, also safety, like if there’s something happening at home, how to get out,” Irma Rios, the lead teacher at the Meridian School, said.
The school’s nurse had been teaching students a unit about safety, including about water consumption and conservation. The visit served as both a fun activity and an application of their lessons.
“All our kids are involved in every single activity that we do here,” Rios said. “We involve them all the time so they always know what’s going on and just so they have a hand (in that), have that pride that ‘Hey, we did that.’”
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Most of the 19 Meridian School’s students were present for Wednesday’s demonstration.
The Meridian School serves students with minor to severe disabilities. Students come from numerous school districts across the Panhandle.
“What sets it apart from ESU 13, even though it’s part of ESU 13, is that in itself its basically like a school,” Rios said.
At the school, students are taught academics, participate in group projects, and go on regular community outings.
Sometimes the community comes to them for educational visits. Representatives from the North Platte Natural Resources District, for example, had visited the school to talk about trees.
During their visit, the firefighters showed students around their vehicles, pointing out the different equipment they use. Some of the students got inside the department’s engine to see things from a firefighter’s point of view.
The firefighters also taught students how water helps the body function and let many of them test out a fire hose. They lined up and, for a few moments, blasted away at the pavement.
“My favorite part was using the hose,” student Nero Ramig-Heth said. “… It was fun spraying water everywhere. It’s like a better (garden) hose, basically.”
He said he learned a lot about the importance of drinking water from the firefighters’ presentation.
“I hope next time we can learn more about police cars, them teaching us more about the emergency system and all that. That would be cool,” he added.