The Bee Hive


The Public Safety Freshman will go to the Bee Hive on May 1.

Alyson Schrepel

The Public Safety freshman are preparing to become real firefighters by going through extensive training preparing for a intense maze at the Fire Department known as the Bee Hive.

On May 1 the Public Safety freshman classes will be going to the Olathe Fire Department to run a three-level confidence course. It is a maze that the students will have to do as if it were a real fire.

It’s used to teach firefighters and students how to do search and rescue operations, how to work through problems like entanglement when they’re in a structure”, Coach Rafols fire rescue teacher said. “It helps build their confidence because we can take it from wide open where you can see with the light to fully enclosed with smoke.”

Some of the training that they are doing is intense for some of the students.

“The hardest thing is if you’re claustrophobic because the box is like a 3×3 basically, so it’s very small and to get through that with an air pack on your back is really hard,” freshman Ari Robinson said.

The students are learning a lot about fire rescue from this training and are learning more skills that could be useful in the future.

“This opportunity will put them ahead of other students that get these certifications when they’re in college because by the time they graduate high school, they’re going to have four full years of training and confidence building,” Rafols said.

They are learning all of the things one would need to know incase it were a real fire.

“We are learning how to hook up our SCBA’s properly and get our gear on in time and all the different methods you use inside of a building,” freshman Brady McDonald said.

They are being trained as if they were real firefighters trying to save people from a burning building.

“What I’m doing here at the high school is the same type of fire academy they would get in a college,” Rafols said. “What we’re working towards is them securing their college credit and their certifications before they graduate high school.”

Captain Rafols uses many different tools and methods to help train his students.

“The way I prepare the students is what’s called a crawl walk run method,” Rafols said. “So first I teach them how to put on their gear and to get comfortable in their gear and then we add the SCBA,  teach them how use that and how troubleshoot problems with it. Then I introduced a tunnel that they have to crawl through and I teach them the method of how to swim through the wires and to slowly and methodically move through so they don’t get entangled.”

These students have been working on getting the drills down and to get all of their gear on in time everyday in class. Captain Rafols has been teaching his students teamwork skills as well, so that when they go, they can work well together in May.

“Hopefully they will gain a lot of confidence and to help build that family atmosphere” Rafols said. “That’s one of the things that we strive for in fire service is being a family not only a team.”