NORTH CANTON The construction class at Hoover High School recently finished building a training structure for the North Canton Fire Department that can help save the lives of others who find themselves in a burning building. The structure resembles a roof top and has a special section built in that will train local firefighter/paramedics to ventilate a roof when fighting a fire.
Hoover’s construction class has 80 students from grade eight through 12. Students earn a certificate of completion from the carpenter’s union allowing them to go work in a construction position or apply credits to an apprenticeship.
Instructor Todd Cognion said the experience of working with the North Canton Fire Department to build the training structure used a diverse set of skills the students learn in class.
"Starting in the first year of class, students learn the basic construction skills and tools and how to work with the tools," Cognion said. "The second and third years, students learn blueprint reading and building using three feet by three feet model homes. Third year students learn structural skills such as framing and completing interior finishes. They also get some electrical and plumbing learning experiences," he added.
Brandon McDonald, a North Canton firefighter/paramedic, said the structure will help train firefighters to ventilate roofs which can be a critical part of saving lives during a building fire.
"Ventilating roofs is a practice we use to let smoke and heat out of a burning structure," he said. "We have a special section built into this structure that is the same size that we would actually cut on a roof. Our firefighters can use the structure to practice climbing the roof and cutting out the vent. We’ll have the students come to the department just down the street from the high school and repair the structure when needed."
The training structure will be housed at Station No. 2 which is located on 7th Street, just a short distance from the high school. McDonald said the department is talking with Cognion about other projects they can team on.
Hoover High School senior Andrew Renner said working on the project taught him a number of different construction skills.
"I liked working on the project and I learned some new skills such as learning how to roof." He said. "It was a good experience and a good cause. It’s the first structure we did for the community and the most important class project."
Renner is planning to enter the military after graduation. He said knowing construction is something that can help anyone in life because the skills can be used every day.
Fire Chief John Bacon and firefighter/paramedic John Kleinbeck, along with McDonald, gave a brief demonstration to the students on how the structure will be used. The department thanked the class for their hard work.
"The department appreciates the hard work all of you put into this and anyway you can help us save a life is important," McDonald said.