JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - Jackson High School students got a taste of how heavy firefighter gear is while climbing stairs on Wednesday, September 11.
Jackson Fire Department firefighters and personnel visited high school students to teach them about what all entails being a firefighter and also gave them an opportunity to physically learn what they go through.
“We wanted to share the experience of 9/11 and what the firefighters went through when they were fighting the fires in the towers," Jackson Firefighter/Paramedic Tim Bleichroth explained. “The teachers asked us to come and kind of give a real live experience of what those firefighters were experiencing.”
The students put on the heavy gear and took turns going up the stairs.
“They’re very hard working and I think they should be appreciated more for sure,” Jackson sophomore Jarrett Glenn said.
“Pretty tough," Jackson Sophomore Autumn Elbert added. "It seemed really easy at first but once you did it, I just don’t understand how they can just do that. It’s unbelievable.”
After they were done, they said they had a new respect for firefighters.
“I didn't think they went through that kind of struggle. I thought it was much lighter," Elbert said. "Obviously they do a lot more staircases than we did. I just don't understand how they can do it."
Elbert even went a second round in the gear up and down the stairs to make sure she got a better understanding.
“The first time, I felt like I could do much better than I did last time, even though my shoes came untied," Elbert continued. "I figured that going again would give me more of an example."
The students' teacher said it’s important they understand what happened 18 years ago on September 11.
“One of the challenges right now is these are students that weren’t born when the event took place. So it’s hard to make that connection," Jackson Social Studies Instructor Travis Dambach said. “They’ve got to understand it, honestly because the world they live in now is pretty much dictated by that event. With them not living through it and not experiencing it, this is going to understand them why certain things are the way they are; security at airports and just the overall nature of security.”