Redefining the Classroom


Search and Simulate

Fire Science students queue a hose line into a practice building during an exercise at LSSU's fire practice grounds in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  Rescue Resources LLC of Grand Rapids provided training on how approach fires that tend to be very fluid, superheated, and explosive.

Fire science students and faculty were joined by the Sault Ste. Marie city fire department for all day training. Crews practiced "positive pressure attack" techniques that blow heat out windows and allow firefighters to walk into a fire without taking a beating. The method also increases safety for trapped people. The Sault fire department, along with LSSU fire science faculty, chipped in to help cover Rescue Resources' visit.

LSSU's fire science students participated in such training in a recent special class. The one day class emphasized practical work and is an example of most recent developments and research in suppressing fire in residential type buildings.  

The class was taught by Grand Rapids Fire Department Deputy Chief Kevin Sehlmeyer.   He and his instructional team provided the training which demonstrated how the use of specially designed fans can be used in conjunction with initial fire attack.   This practical instruction combines with the theory and research LSSU students study in their classroom work.

"Fire science is probably the only baccalaureate degree where life and death hangs on college preparation. Anyone who is strong and brave can throw himself or herself into a fire, but it takes discipline and preparation to survive a fire and save others.

Here is what it takes to be a firefighter today. Chemistry and physics reveal how fires burn. Psychology and management courses show how organizations fight fires. Certification choices round out the preparation – from hazardous material to basic paramedic training – because we never know how we may be asked to respond.

I push our students intellectually. Our program offers a degree option integrated with engineering technology, with such coursework as calculus, fluid dynamics, and the physics of heat transfer. A hazardous materials track stresses chemistry and environmental sciences, even climatology and geology.

Many of my labs are outside in a two-story, steel Fire Exercise Structure, where I guide students through countless smoke and fire drills. We often get city and county fire crews involved so they can sharpen their skills as well as share tips with our students. It keeps me sharp and helps our students pass state or provincial (for Canada) certification exams, usually the first time.

Pushing my students pushes me. My job is to create opportunity for students."

--Jihane Mauze'

Simulation Center Shines for Regional Professionals

Lake Superior State University Nursing and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students, alumni, faculty, and staff teamed up to demonstrate the unique capabilities of LSSU's Simulation Center to health professionals invited from throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula, northern Lower Peninsula, and Algoma region of Ontario.

Aside from undergraduate instruction, the Sault Ste. Marie, MI center provides assessment, remediation, certification, transition to practice, and community outreach opportunities for a variety of health care specialty disciplines.

Working this exercise are LSSU Health Center medical director Dr. Timothy Tetzlaff (in green); lead simulation specialist Judy Hering (foreground); and LSSU EMS students and alumni. An important benefit of the Center is its ability to present students that have life-threatening conditions. The paramedicine program at LSSU has been collaborating with the Simulation Center to provide constantly changing conditions that requires EMS students to react just as they would on real calls. As our simulation program expands, so will the ability to meet the needs of our pre-hospital health care students.

In a recent Kentwood City Commission action, approval was given to Fire Chief Brent Looman to donate 20 older hand help portable radios to Lake Superior State University’s Fire Science, Criminal Justice and Paramedic programs. Lake Superior State University is the only state university in Michigan that offers degrees in all three of these professions. The City of Kentwood has previously donated fire fighter turnout gear and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SBCA) to the Fire Science program and continues to be a partner with LSSU providing internships for individuals in the program.