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ECCA forms partnership with fire officials
DaKota Paradice
ECCA Director of Engineering DaKota Paradice learns how to use a Jaws of Life on March 21. - photo by Photo submitted

Effingham College and Career Academy partnered with Savannah Fire Capt. Scot Howard and Effingham County Fire and Rescue  Chief Clint Hodges and Capt. Ben Pape to uncover STEM applications in firefighting.

ECCA’s goal is for students to understand how content can be applied to the real-world. In October 2021, the Effingham College and Career Academy administration, Dr. Brigid Nesmith, Shelly Hobbs and Dr. Kathy Pevey launched the idea of creating a partnership with Howard, Hodges and Capt. Ben Pape. They planned for a professional development day for teachers to discover ways that their individual content could be applied to firefighting. Their plan came to fruition March 21. 

Howard began the day in a lecture series with the teachers explaining how they would see math, science, technology, engineering, automotive, culinary, healthcare, physical education, and logistics occur at the fire-training facility. 

After a Firehouse sub lunch, ECCA staff rode a school bus to the Effingham Fire training facility. Fire service professionals were awaiting the staff’s arrival with a rotation of five stations. The staff, with the help of the fire professionals, experienced hands-on application of high school content as they moved through the rotations. ECCA staff experienced the use of Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC) to find “bodies” in a fog-filled house, putting on PPE to demonstrate proper use and its importance, using mathematics to calculate the amount of water and pressure needed along with friction loss with fire hoses, discovering the force needed for extrication and the jaws of life, and the stages of fire and how materials in a burning building affect the formation of a fire.  This partnership will continue throughout the school year as fire service professionals and high school teachers join forces in the classroom to help students engage with the material and introduce students to potential career paths. Fire service professionals can share further real-world context for the subject matter from the partnership. This partnership between ECCA and Effingham Fire and Rescue will be beneficial to educators, students, and the fire service alike.