WHS students construct prop rooms for fire department safety open house | #schoolsaftey

Washougal High School career and technical education construction technology students built two prop rooms for a fire safety demonstration by the Camas-Washougal Fire Department (CWFD) last month.

Fire department employees set both prop rooms ablaze to demonstrate the effectiveness of residential sprinklers at the department’s Health & Safety Fair Open House on Saturday, Sept. 23. More than 2,500 spectators attended the open house, according to a news release.

“The students came with all levels of experience and gained skills working as a team on a real construction project,” CWFD marshal Ron Schumacher said in the news release. “They’re practicing installing drywall and using construction tools in high school.”

Washougal High juniors Gage Leavitt, Gavan McCallister, and Noah Wheeler constructed the two prop rooms on Wednesday, September 20. 

“Our aim is to create opportunities for student leadership,”  Washougal High woods technology teacher Brent Mansell said. “This team of students had to overcome some challenges in order to finish these projects.”

“Opportunities for real world application of classroom-learned skills with businesses in our community are invaluable,” Washougal School District career and technical education director Margaret Rice added. “When our students realize that their skills are valued and can be applied to specific jobs, they gain confidence and get that much closer to decisions on their post high school career goals. They also see the results of their effort in our community.”

The CWFD equipped one prop room with a residential sprinkler while leaving the other prop room unequipped. During the demonstration, the prop room with the sprinkler sustained much less fire damage than the other room. 

“Sprinklers are not designed to suppress all fires, but help to create a safety corridor so that occupants can evacuate,” the news release states. “The fire department should always be notified in fire emergencies by calling 9-1-1.”

This marked the first time that Washougal High students were involved in constructing the prop rooms for the community event, held annually since 2001.

“We hope to do this again next year,” said Mansell.

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