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Lara CFA/Nelson Park PAL Week 3
From the moment the students walked in we could tell that they were ready to go.
The students appeared to have more confidence in answering questions and the quieter ones were stepping forward and taking the lead. It was week 3 of the Nelson Park PAL program and already a huge change had taken place.
The beginning of this session was a group brainstorm on the classes of fire, the fire triangle and extinguishers.
Throughout this session some students showed that they truly have exceptional knowledge on the cause and consequence of fire as well as the solution to putting it out.
The first task was fuel. What is it?
- Electricity/electrical appliances
The next was the fire triangle and thanks to fire fighter Doug’s Fire Triangle the students were able to actively discover how the 3 elements of Oxygen, Fuel and Heat work together to create fire, as well as what happens when one is removed.
“How can you take away the Oxygen of a fire?”
“You can cover the fire”
This was the beginning of the discussion on extinguishers and fire blankets.
Firstly, how do we class a fire?
- Class A: Wood, paper, leaves
- Class B: Petrol
- Class E: Electrical
- Class F: Oil
Then came the extinguishers. What do they contain and what do they put out?
- All Red contains Water: puts out class A fires
- Red with White stripe contains Powder: puts out classes A, B and E fires
- Red with Blue stripe or all blue contains Foam: puts out class A and B (definitely not E!)
- Red with Black stripe contains CO2: puts out classes B and E
- Red with Oatmeal stripe contains Wet Chem.: puts out class F
Once the students had covered the extinguishers it was time to refer back to the fire triangle and how the extinguishers affect it.
- Water – removes heat
- Powder – removes O2
- Foam – removes O2 and heat
- CO2 – removes O2
- Wet Chem – removes O2 and fuel
Once the students had a firm understanding of these concepts it was time to put their knowledge in to action. They were divided into their 2 crews (tanker and pumper) and tasked with matching the extinguisher to the fuel it puts out. This activity meant the students judged each other, assisted each
other and acknowledged their efforts.
Then it was time to race each other to see how quickly they could match the extinguishers to fuel. A challenge indeed! By this time all the students were confident in their knowledge and had the matches complete in seconds!!
Finally - some practical experience - using the extinguisher. In their crews the students learnt how to:
- read the wind (to approach from the right direction),
- check the label (need to be sure it is the right extinguisher!),
- read the gauge (making sure it was able to be used),
- pull the pin,
- approach the “fire” and
- put the “fire” out appropriately.
It was also time to practice gently placing the fire blanket over the “fire”. The students had to make sure they pulled down firmly, made sure their hands were covered by the blanket and gently placing the blanket over the fire.
When the students were summarising their day, the following was highlighted:
- The gauge has to be in the green for it to work
- Have to approach a fire really slowly
- The wind is really important – so the spray goes further and over the fire
When they were asked what their favourite part of today’s session was the general consensus was “using the extinguishers” especially “the powder one.”
Next week is the final session and it will provide the parents with a chance to see what their children have learnt and for the students to show their skills.