Helicopter lands at AHS

Helicopter lands at AHS
Albemarle High School currently offers two courses: Public Safety and Fire Fighter 1. The purpose of the Public Safety Program and particularly the Public Safety course is to introduce students to potential career opportunities that serve communities.
The course agendas are focused on Firefighting, Emergency Medical Services, and Law Enforcement. One aspect covered in the firefighting unit is concentrated on the role of a Forest Ranger. Each semester a ranger is invited to share with the students the many facets of their job. Students benefit greatly from hands on experiences and demonstrations of real-life job responsibilities.
Instructor Kenny Kendall came through the ranks of the Albemarle Fire Department and has 25 years experience. Mr. Kendall has been teaching Fire Classes for over 20 years. He is currently a Battalion Chief over B Shift.
Mr. Kendall teaches the Public Safety Program at Albemarle High School.  The program was started in the 2nd semester of the 2018-2019 school year with 11 students enrolled in the classes. To date, there are 17 students in the Public Safety I class and 20 students in the Fire Technology I class.
Pilot Mike Dimmel and Crew Chief Ryan Adams shared their stories and encouraged students to explore college and military options to pursue a career in public safety. They are assigned to helicopter 21 which is a Bell UH-1H Huey stationed in Hickory. This is one of five fire control helicopters owned by the North Carolina Forest Service. This helicopter's main purpose is to carry water in a bucket to help extinguish wildfires. It is also used to transport supplies during natural disasters.
Last semester students were given a demonstration of how a tractor is used to control wildfires. The primary task of the forest ranger is fighting wildland fires. The use of helicopters are instrumental in attacking and controlling wildfires. Helitack crews are teams of firefighters who are transported by helicopter to wildfires. Helicopters provide rapid transport, enabling crews to quickly respond and assess a wildfire situation. Helitack crews may land near a wildfire or rappel from a hovering helicopter. Once on the ground, crews build firelines using hand tools, chainsaws, and other firefighting tools. Helicopters equipped with airframe-mounted water tanks are used to support firefighters on the ground with water drops to help contain and control the fires.
Forest Rangers are employed by either the state or federal government. The Public Safety and Fire Fighter program encourages students to pursue a career in these areas of community service. There are currently 7-8 students between the two courses that are showing great interest in a career in one area of Public Safety.