Lynnwood University: Behind the scenes at the Fire Department

Lynnwood University participant Cena Conteh (center) puts on a Hazmet suit with the assistance of fellow classmates Nabila Mir Gayas (left) and Raju Pulivandlas during a visit to the fire department.

By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor

Week two of Lynnwood University turned out to be both informative and just plain fun for Cena and Peter Conteh.

The two, along with their classmates, spent Thursday evening getting to know the Lynnwood Fire Department.

But the class was far more than just listening to fire department personnel.

Peter Conteh handles a working fire hose.

It was hands-on learning.

Cena had the opportunity to try on a Hazmet Suit, handle a working fire hose and be lifted high into the air on a fire truck ladder.

“This really interesting to be able to try on the suit and get up on the equipment,” she said. “I remember doing it as a little kid, but it’s still interesting even now.”

When Cena was younger, she actually wanted to get involved in hazardous material work.

“I used to work for military,” Cena added. “I was always around guys involved in Hazmet.”

Just as interesting was learning about the different types of gases and their potential impact on people. Some gases can eat at your skin, while others can damage your lungs, Cena said. “You don’t think about that as a civilian.”

Peter expanded his knowledge of what the fire department does.

“Coming here teaches me that there’s a lot to the fire department other than putting out fires,” he said. “They deal with chemicals, hazardous materials and all that kind of stuff. It’s not only about fire. … I really appreciate what the fire department does.”

Cena came away with practical knowledge that will make her household safer.

“We get to see really the impact of what the fire department does and how they want to teach us because teaching us prevents some of the stuff that happens,” Cena said.

Lynnwood Assistant Fire Chief Gregg Sieloff talks about the dangers of fire.

The cause of most fires can be traced to man, woman or child.

“Those three people are how fires start,” Cena said. “So whether it’s an accident or unattended cooking, you need to educate people. … We all have a handle in how things start.”

Up next is a look at Public Works at the Lynnwood Operations Maintenance Center.

Lynnwood Today will be following Cena and Peter Conteh as they learn more about their city government through Lynnwood University.

Cena Conteh learns what it is like to work with a fire hose.


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