Teens tackle public safety techniques at academy - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Teens tackle public safety techniques at academy

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Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 1:26 pm | Updated: 11:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Simulating a search and rescue mission for a baby in a smoke-filled room, while wearing a face mask, a helmet and a bulky fire suit.Climbing a ladder several stories high.Learning how to perform CPR.

VIDEO: Teens get training for police and fire careers

Simulating a search and rescue mission for a baby in a smoke-filled room, while wearing a face mask, a helmet and a bulky fire suit.Climbing a ladder several stories high.Learning how to perform CPR.

If getting up at 6:30 a.m. during the summer weren't grueling enough already, those are just a handful of things 28 Valley teens are experiencing this week at the Scottsdale Public Safety Teen Academy.

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But gauging by the attitudes of those participating, most of them agreed: "It's pretty cool."

The academy, hosted by the Scottsdale police and fire departments at Scottsdale Stadium and the Hontz Training Facility in Tempe through Friday, is an opportunity for teens to learn public safety techniques.

"I like this," said Ronnie Edwin, 17, of Scottsdale, as he anchored a line of three participants who were spraying a fire hose at orange cones atop blue plastic barrels. "We're learning how to work as a team."

At 6 feet 4 inches and 265 pounds, Edwin plays center and on the defensive line for the Scottsdale Saguaro High School football team, but said he would like to be a firefighter or police officer someday. He said his father, Ron, was a former Scottsdale police officer.

Rylan Wasson, 15, of Fountain Hills, climbed down the ladder on one of the Scottsdale firetrucks after being inside the bucket at about three stories high.

"It was really cool," she said. "I really liked it. This is a good idea to do."

On Thursday, the teens will learn some police skills at the training facility. They will also have interaction with fully geared SWAT team members, examine a mock homicide scene and learn crime scene investigation techniques.

Last year's teen academy had been canceled due to lack of interest, but this year, there was a waiting list of 14, said Lori Schmidt, public education officer for the Scottsdale Fire Department.

In the past, the academy was held in more of a classroom setting, and this year, it is more hands-on and teamwork, she said.

"These recruits can be our future police officers and firefighters," Schmidt said. "Our goal is to give the teams exposure to public safety. We figured we were lucky to get this many teens out of bed at 6:30 in the morning, so let's give them something fun to do. They're going to walk away with some valuable skills."

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