Manassas’ Finest & Bravest Show Children the Ropes of the Job
– August 22, 2013 8:32 am
MANASSAS, Va. – On Wednesday morning, 120 incoming Osbourn High School Freshmen got an up close view of the Manassas Fire and Police Departments in action.
The fire department showed students how to use fire extinguishers, spray water from the charged fire lines, showed them what the ladders on their trucks can do, and how emergency workers free victims from trapped cars.
Teachers Ruby Sotelo and Holly Cruz got to ride 100 feet into the air as the ladder raised high above the crowd. Both women laughed and students cheered for them.
“We have a beautiful city,” Sotelo said after the ride. “And it is even prettier from 100 feet up.”
Next up during the demonstration, officers from the SWAT team showed volunteer Sean Willemann what it felt like to put on the required gear team members wear. On an average day, team members can carry anywhere from 50-80 pounds of equipment.
“It was very hot and heavy,” said Willeman after the demonstration. “I don’t ever want to be a SWAT team member.”
Motorcycle Officers Bryan Hogan and Tab Pavalok got to show off their riding skills taking a cone course at low speed. No easy task on motorcycles that weigh over 1,000 each.
“I like watching their faces,” said Officer Bryan Hogan. “I like keeping the kids on the right path.”
Hogan recently won an award for his riding ability. He has served in the police department for over 25 years and is a graduate of Osbourn High School.
Pavalok was the first female motor officer in Manassas and has been on the force for 15 years.
“I want the girls in our high school to see the opportunity in the police force for women,” Pavalok said.
Both officers said they enjoy interacting with the children and like seeing them all over town.
Last but not least, K9 officers Rex and Sultan got to show off drug sniffing, command following and catching a suspect on the run. The kids yelled and clapped for the dogs. Though it was hot out, the dogs never missed a beat, barking happily as they did their job.
“What I see here today is how the community embraces our school and works toward supporting our students,” said Dr. Catherine Magouryk “The kids see now see the Fire and Police Departments as a part of a support network for the city and for themselves.”
Students will take the lessons learned with them back to the classroom when school starts Sept. 3.