Waterpark workers learn not to burn

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It wasn't your typical day at the office for employees at Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport Tuesday. It was a day filled with flames and safety training, as thousands are expected at the waterpark for the Memorial Day weekend.

This on the job training is not about fun and games. This is serious business, learning how to save lives and property.

One by one, the students came up for their trial by fire.  The flames were doused quickly and efficiently.

You might think that a waterpark is a strange place for a fire to break out. But fire can come at anytime, anywhere, and this type of training is invaluable.

B.J. Tenner recites what he has learned.

"Heat, oxygen and fuel are the three things that cause fires, and it's like a chemical reaction," Tenner said. "So it's like when you're dealing with a grease fire, you use your fire extinguisher and it just takes out the fire."

Amanda McClendon is another waterpark employee.

"I learned how to how to use an extinguisher," McClendon said.  "We go to pull out the pin, we have to aim at the fire and we have to squeeze the top of the extinguisher to put out the fire."

When the day started, fire inspector Randy Johnson had one goal in mind.

"Hopefully, I've taught them about what causes fire and what you need to do to put them out," Johnson said.  "Very simple steps to take, and if they keep their calm about them they can go ahead and put that fire out."

It's this type of training that everyone can use, even with something as commonplace as a fire extinguisher.

Mike Conner also works at the waterpark.

"Fire extinguishers are everywhere and you never really know how to use one and no one ever teaches you, so I think everyone should learn at one point," Conner said.

The Gulfport Fire Department conducts this training at dozens of businesses several times during the year.

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