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Avon High School students crunch numbers for local fire departments

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Some local high school students are helping firefighters figure out the most efficient search and rescue techniques. The Avon High School students are working with several departments over their spring break to collect data during training. 

This collaboration was sparked by the Washington Township – Avon Fire Department. Training Chief John Shafer says he knew the training would provide a lot of data, but crunching the numbers is a challenge. 

During the training, firefighters from several departments in Hendricks County enter a home. Shafer uses a fog machine to fill the house to create a zero visibility situation. The firefighters have to find the victims, which are training dummies, inside the home by entering and exiting the home in different ways. 

The Avon High School students time the firefighters from both outside and inside the home to collect data on the training. 

Amanda Leahy is the AP statistics teacher at Avon High School and she says this partnership allows a unique chance for the students to gather real-life data, instead of just solving problems from a textbook. 

“The course of doing the mathematics is not really straight forward, so when we get back from spring break we’re going to have an opportunity in the class to say here’s all this data, now tell me what you can do with it. And for the kids to be able to explore some raw data that’s not guided for them that they have to make the decisions about what can be analyzed and that’s exciting for me as a teacher to give them the opportunity to explore with real-life stuff,” Leahy said. 

The training continues this week and next as spring break continues for Avon students. It’s happening on Vestel Road just south of county road 200 south.

On top of this being a great educational opportunity for the students and a way for the fire departments to get real analytics about what they do during emergencies, the students tell News 8 it’s also opened their eyes when it comes to fire safety.

“I got to see things that I don’t normally get to see. It’s kind of like experiencing a fire without the actual fire, so there’s that part. You get to see what they actually do instead of just when they come to your school as a kindergartner and talk to you about stop, drop and roll,” Claire Dana, Avon High School sophomore, said.