Everglades Firefighter Conducts Video Chat with Students

“Video chats provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about a national park that they may not get to visit, and to interact with the people who care for these special places.” Allyson Gantt, Everglades National Park education and outreach coordinator

A firefighter in Nomex flame-resistant gear sits in front of a computer at a desk.
Everglades National Park fire staffer conducts video chat with students at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

On August 6, 2014, Everglades National Park Firefighter Katie Corrigan and Everglades environmental education staff conducted a video chat that connected students in Fort Scott, Kansas, with Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida, almost 1,500 miles away. The students, ages 9-12, were participating in the Fort Scott National Historic Site’s Trailblazer Program, in which students spent one week learning about cultural and natural resource protection, interpretation, and fire management in the National Park Service.

During the video chat, Everglades staff discussed the role of fire in Everglades and prairie ecosystems, how fire is managed in the National Park Service, and how various ecosystems can benefit from fire. Students then had the opportunity to ask questions about fire training and jobs, firefighter safety, and fire equipment. “The distance learning was a very valuable learning experience for the children. It was a great complement to the activities planned,” remarked Kelley Collins, chief ranger for Fort Scott National Historic Site. Students participating in the video chat completed some tasks necessary for finishing the Everglades Junior Firefighter taskbook.

“Video chats provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about a national park that they may not get to visit, and to interact with the people who care for these special places,” says Allyson Gantt, Everglades National Park education and outreach coordinator. Everglades fire management and environmental education staffers hope to offer more video chats to connect students with firefighters working in prescribed fire, fire effects, and fire suppression starting this fall.

Learn more about Everglades’ fire management program and environmental education program.

Contact: Rick Anderson, fire management officer / Allyson Gantt, outreach and education coordinator
Email:Rick_Anderson@nps.gov / Allyson_Gantt@nps.gov
Phone: (305) 242-7853 / (305) 242-7860