Binghamton Univerisity student leaders learn fire safety

By Josh Martin

August 22, 2014 Updated Aug 22, 2014 at 7:07 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Resident assistants and directors at Binghamton University received hands-on experience on how to respond to a fire in their building.

With the start of classes in less than 10 days, the Vestal Fire Department is making sure the student leaders are well prepared for any and all fire-related situations.

“I have never encountered a fire in my life, so learning the technique of pulling out the pin and knowing where to hold the fire extinguisher so you don’t hurt yourself," said BU junior and first-year resident assistant Bridget Kunz, "And you’re protecting yourself and your residents is really very important.”

Students took turns using fire extinguishers on actual fires, learning the response time of the fire department and maneuvering through smoke-filled hallways.

“To be able to train them to get out of the building safely is a huge deal to us because for us to come on the scene of a fire, in this building, and me to come in here and have the RA or RD meet me at the door and say 'everyone is out of the building safe,' that releases a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” Vestal Fire Department's First Assistant Chief John Paffie said.

The program teaches students about teamwork, communication and responsibility. Along with learning fire safety, they also get an understanding of fire department response time.