Kent State hosts fire safety, prevention workshop for Greek community

Hilary Crisan

Several fraternities and sororities learned fire-prevention and fire-safety tips at Kent State’s first Greek Fire Academy on Saturday.

According to Lt. Rich Lynn, the program was designed to reduce the number of preventable deaths across the nation.

“The big goal and the key here is to teach students how to be able to make good cognitive decisions and be able to save their own lives,” Lynn said. “We lose too many students throughout the country every year to preventable accidents, and that’s what this is all about.”

The activities included not only hands-on fire scenarios, emergency medical training and fire prevention but also an inside look at a day in the life of a firefighter.

“We wanted to teach students about self-rescue, knowing two ways out, what to do in case of a fire and what to expect during a 911 call,” Lynn said. “We also put them in a zero-visibility fire situation.”

There were also lectures about fire prevention and campus safety, including how to use a fire extinguisher and why students should not disable his or her smoke detectors.

“We talked about good common-sense issues,” Lynn said. “Just being safe and good housekeeping.”

The event is the first of its kind in Ohio, but Frank Conway, fire marshal and Ohio Fire Academy superintendent, said there are hopes for more events like the Greek Fire Academy to spread throughout the state.

Conway attended the event to observe and receive feedback from participants.

“We recognize that we have a gap in our training program because we work closely with preschool children until about the fifth grade, and then fire education drops off,” Conway said. “We need to reinforce that message, and I think this is a program that is reinforcing that message.”

Andrew Jones, sophomore computer science major and member of Alpha Tau Omega, said he thought the event was important.

“It’s a great learning experience and it taught us a lot,” Jones said. “It opened our eyes to some of the things that we’re doing wrong. I definitely think we’re all going to come from this and hopefully be a safer Greek community.”

Cara Amato, senior human development and family studies major and member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, said she was fascinated by the responsibility of a firefighter.

“It’s been really interesting,” Amato said. “You don’t realize how many tall buildings there are on campus and how much work it takes to get up the stairs. It’s eye-opening.”

Contact Hilary Crisan at [email protected].