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BOCES students learn firefighting from Ogdensburg department

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Ben K. Smith is 17 and already he is thinking of career after high school.

The Ogdensburg Free Academy senior and criminal justice major at the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services Northwest Technical Center spent Tuesday morning at Ogdensburg Fire Department. He donned the 40-pound turnout gear of coat, boots, helmet, gloves and air pack. He held a high-pressure hose. He ventured into the darkened smoke tower.

And he liked it.

“This is definitely a job that I would be interested in,” Mr. Smith said.

That was good news for Assistant Chief Ronald D. Bouchard, who hosted Mr. Smith and about 20 other BOCES students under the direction of criminal justice teacher William J. Long.

“That’s great if we can encourage anybody,” he said.

Mr. Long hopes he gets his point across by bringing his students here as well as to the police department and city court, as he has done in the past.

“This is an opportunity for them to learn about the importance of public service,” he said.

Lisbon Central School senior Jessica A. Cooke, 18, had her eyes opened when she came to the fire station. Coming from a town where the fire department is all volunteer, she found the experience both educational and inspirational.

“I didn’t know anything about it (firefighting),” Miss Cooke said. “This is something that I would be interested in.”

“We have several future volunteers here,” Mr. Long said.

Mr. Bouchard commended the students for their high level of curiosity and enthusiasm.

“I thought they were really good about it,” he said.

But the smoke tower was something else.

“Some of them didn’t like it,” Mr. Bouchard laughed. “They came back out.”

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