BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Some Biloxi High School students stepped out of the classroom Thursday and into a tough physical fitness course — job shadowing the Biloxi Fire Department.
Fourteen students in the "Law and Public Safety" program at Biloxi High learned about the first obstacle potential recruits must overcome before they can join BFD, passing a physical fitness test.
"What I'm encouraging them is instead of standing and watching, they have to get their hands on it. We don't want to hurt anybody, but they need to see how heavy things are and sweat a little bit if you will," said John Jennings with the Biloxi Fire Department.
Students made their way through eight stations that simulated a fire rescue, such as dragging a 160-pound dummy to safety and crawling through a dark maze to see if they are claustrophobic.
Every student got a chance to try on the gear and test their skills.
"It was hard, but I mean, if you want something you have to work for it and I just wanted to prove that not only guys can do this, but girls can too," said Biloxi High School Junior Brittany Burgett. "It's cool for me to meet all these people and get to know what they do and how they do it and how it helps our future in the end."
For six weeks, the students will spend every Thursday training with the firefighters. They will also get on the job experience in other career fields, including the military, EMTs, and the court system. Once students complete the two-year program, they will be certified in First Aid, CPR, and be part of the Community Emergency First Responders Team.
"What we're hoping is they see what opportunities are available in careers in law and public safety. They're able to see what the real world experiences are," said Carva King, Biloxi High's Career Technology Center Student Services Coordinator.