On Saturday March 21 MC’s fire science class competed in a “Best-of-the-Best” contest at the Poway Fire Training tower, against other high schools’ fire science academies. Ranging from endurance to teamwork, this competition consists of several events that test fire science students’ abilities in trying situations..
“It’s basically run like a track meet,” senior Noah Kirkbride said. “There’s six events and we practice some drills we do.”
These events have a focus on teamwork, the same way firefighters must work together in real life.
“It’s a simple test of how well they think on their feet,” fire science teacher and retired firefighter Captain Bill Briscoe said. “It is still a physical event but they have to work with their crew.”
Specific events included simulations of actual firefighting situations.
“There was one called Rapid Intervention Team,” Kirkbride said. “You have to go and break down a wall and save a dummy. It’s pretty cool.”
These challenges all contributed to the overall score MC secured. Yet regardless of the outcome, the competition can be viewed as a learning experience in the eyes of Briscoe.
“I want them to do well and then I can pat them on the back and say, okay, keep up the good work,” Briscoe said. “If they don’t do well and they fall on their faces, I get to say, okay, you get to work that much harder because they are your competition.”
MC’s fire science students didn’t give Briscoe the chance to do the latter, as they ended up burning up the entire competition, and brought home a glistening axe trophy.
However, this doesn’t mean the students can start slacking. The grit and merit that are a fundamental parts of fire science gives students experience that motivates some to pursue careers in firefighting.
“I had an interest in becoming a firefighter,” Kirkbride said. “I think pretty much everybody who goes through the class wants to be a firefighter by the time they’re done with it.”