BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It was real life training for resident assistants and resident directors at Binghamton University all in an effort to teach them about fire safety. The Vestal Fire Department showed people how to get out of a building quickly and safely.
"God forbid anything were to happen, I need to know what to do," said Kristen Mulvena, a resident assistant. That's why this BU RA said hands-on fire safety training is so beneficial."
"There is always something new to learn. Things are always changing. There's always things to learn at training so it's always going to make you a better RA because you're never going to know everything," said Mulvena.
Students learned about the fire department, equipment, and how to maneuver and communicate in smoke-filled hallways to evacuate a building quickly.
"Thankfully we had a great line of communication, but it's a lot trying to feel for the wall and trying to hold on to that person and listen. It's overwhelming, but it's a real life situation and it's completely possible," said Mulvena. "We even got to put out fires with fire extinguishers and I personally had never done that before."
Since 2000, 86 fatal fires have occurred on college campuses, and other student housing situations, according to the US Fire Administration. Firefighters said students need to stay calm, cool, and collected in any situation.
"That's the biggest key to everything right now. It's getting everybody out of the building safely and letting the fire department come in and do their job," said Vestal Fire Department First Assistant Chief John Paffie.
And if students get themselves out of harm's way, it makes the job easier and safer for firefighters.
"Everybody goes home, that's my number one," said Paffie.