Youth Public Safety Day: Touring Sheriff’s Office, Fire Rescue and Video Studio

Leon Fooksman
Leadership Palm Beach County
March 23, 2015

They learned what it’s like to be a firefighter. They saw how potential bombs are detected and defused. And they created their own cyber-bulling public service announcement.


Youth Leadership students got an inside look at Palm Beach County’s public safety system during their Public Safety Day.


Student Kylee Neeranjan was there to report on it.


7:45: Public Safety Day began when the Youth Leadership class boarded the bus at Lake Lytal Park.


8:00-9:15: We then ventured to the Headquarters of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department. While there, we were welcomed with a warm breakfast to start our day. Additionally, Rob Vargas spoke with us about our next stop for the day, first appearances.


9:15-10:15: After breakfast, we headed to the courtroom to witness first appearances. Judge Marx took time to sit down with us personally before the cases began to explain what we were about to witness. He made sure to answer any questions we had and make us all feel comfortable in this new environment.


10:15-11:30: We then headed out of the courtroom and into the Palm Beach County jail for a tour. We got to see one of the K-9s and learned about contraband within the jail. The class was then divided into multiple groups and taken on a walking tour of the facilities. We walked through the process that an inmate would go through upon sentencing. The most memorable (and frightening) part of Public Safety day for me was during this tour as we walked through the Solitary Housing Unit and watched and listened to the inmates yelling and banging on the doors and walls.


11:30-12:30: After we all finished our tours, we headed back to the Headquarters of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department for lunch.


12:30-1:30 Next, we took a short walk outside to find S.W.A.T. vehicles and team members, and the Command Bus and Mounted Unit. We learned about the various technologies that are employed within Palm Beach County; such technologies include those available in detecting bomb threats, and handling potential bombs. We were able to look into, and walk inside of the vehicles, which allowed for a more thorough learning experience. To conclude our hands-on experience with Public Safety technology, each Youth Leadership student was given the opportunity to sign the pink and purple Sheriff vehicles in support of cancer.


1:30-2:15: The next stop after visiting with the Sheriff’s Department was Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Students climbed aboard the bus again and we made our way to the Fire Rescue. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by friendly staff members.


2:15-3:15: After meeting with staff and learning about the basics of the Fire Rescue, we headed outside to the live burn site. We were able to walk through the house that is used in training potential firefighters. On our way out of the house, we just so happened to pass by a group training to break open doors in the case of a fire. Outside there were also multiple cars which are used in the training process.  In addition to the house and cars, there is a multiple story building which is set on fire for training purposes as well. Back inside, we walked through the gym facility on site and spoke with trainers who gave us an idea of what it takes to be a firefighter. Members of the Fire Rescue are held to a very high standard physically and maintaining great physical condition is crucial to their efficiency on the job.


3:15-4:00: The group then headed to the Video Department of the Fire Rescue. We gathered around a screen to watch a clip, which had been put together on site, about the diversity that exists within Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. We were then taken into the studio where that very video was filmed and given the opportunity to create our own Public Service Announcement for cyberbullying. Students were appointed roles such as actors, producers, directors, and teleprompter managers. I personally couldn’t have thought of a more fitting end to Public Safety Day, as we were able to take leadership within our individual roles and then come together as a team to complete our task.


4:00: We boarded the bus and headed back to Lytal Park after yet another eventful day with Palm Beach County Youth Leadership.