Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Staff Conducts Skype Outreach

Two firefighters use a laptop on a picnic table while a wildland fire engine is parked behind them.
Firefighters Richard Carson and Andy Schnetzer ignite student curiosity long distance.

NPS / Jennifer L. Ward

On Friday, December 7, 2012, Natchez Trace Parkway Firefighters Richard Carson, Andy Schnetzer, and Jennifer Ward presented a long-distance classroom program to Hinchcliffe Elementary School in O’Fallon, Illinois. The students have been studying wildfire and were excited to have real wildland firefighters speak to their class. During the 30-minute session, the children displayed their enthusiasm through their insightful questions. The firefighters set up a Skype connection outside the Parkway Visitor Center in Tupelo, MS, so that the students could see the fire truck and equipment. This Skype session was the first for both Hinchcliffe Elementary School and the Natchez Trace Parkway.

This partnership opportunity to reach young people came about because the teacher at Hinchcliffe school personally knew of Jennifer Ward’s association with the National Park Service and her experience with firefighting. Hoping to present the students with a real-life connection, she contacted Ward, who then worked together the Natchez Trace interpretation and education staff to set up the connection. Ward, along with Schnetzer and Carson, organized and conducted the educational presentation. Support for the Skype connection was made possible with the help of Eastern National.

Contact: Jane Farmer, park ranger
Email: e-mail us
Phone: (662) 680-4015 or 4027

Last updated: January 26, 2017