Tag Archives: Gary Baum

Tower to enhance fire-science program

Local fire departments will have access to facility
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board has set aside land on the high school’s campus for a new training tower for the Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) fire-science program.

The tower, which officials hope will be finished by this fall, will be 30 feet high, 40 feet long and 25 feet wide, constructed out of recycled overseas shipping containers, and funded through grants the FVCC obtained.

“I don’t know that an actual cost has yet to be determined, but it would not be a direct cost to the Kaneland School District,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “Any money required beyond what is received in the grant (FVCC received to build the training facility) would need to be funded through the career center budget.”

The tower will allow fire-science instructors to simulate firefighting conditions more accurately during class sessions.

“The tower provides a structure in which we can now throw ladders against, move charged hose lines through, fill with artificial smoke (and practice) other skills we have not been able to do as well as we should have before,” FVCC fire-rescue instructor Gary Baum said.

The tower will benefit not only the FVCC fire-science program, but the community as a whole, because fire departments also will have access to the facility as long as their training does not interfere with school functions.

“It is the goal of the Fox Valley Career Center to train future firefighters and EMTs to serve their communities, and in turn provide a facility to allow those already serving a place to continue their training,” he said.

FVCC classes provide hands-on experience

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Kaneland High School senior Kyle Straughn did not intend to become a firefighter. A couple of people he knew worked for the Maple Park Fire Department, and he began working there in 2008 as a part-time cadet on the weekends.

He signed up for the fire science class at the Fox Valley Career Center in his junior year, and his initial curiosity turned into a career opportunity. Although he learns a lot in his job with the Fire District, he said the class at the Career Center provides more in-depth training in fire fighting techniques.

Carrying and raising ladders, performing forced entry, employing search-and-rescue techniques, working with ventilation tools and practicing hose evolutions are just a few of the skills that Straughn has learned in the class.

Sugar Grove firefighter Gary Baum heads up the program at the Career Center.

Currently in his second year of the class, Straughn has taken on leadership roles during drills, gaining valuable experience in taking command and communicating effectively with his teammates.

“I’m really glad I took the class; it’s the best class ever,” he said. “It involves helping people.

This year, he also began taking the Career Center’s newly-formed Emergency Medical Services (EMS) class. He said he was glad to have the opportunity to take both classes during high school.

“As long as this is what you want to do, it’s a good time to do it,” he said.

Straughn receives dual credit for the fire science class with Kaneland High School and Waubonsee Community College. By the time he graduates high school, he said he will have 29 credits in fire science, and will be halfway to his associate’s degree.

The EMS class prepares him to become an emergency medical technician at the basic level (EMTB). When he completes the class, he will be eligible to take the state of Illinois EMT basic exam.

“You learn a lot about how to take care of someone properly and to keep yourself safe,” he said of the EMS class.

Straughn said taking both classes makes a lot of sense, because so many of the calls the Fire District receives are for medical emergencies. He said that he will most likely become a paramedic, as most fire departments require their employees to obtain that level of training.

The EMS class is new to the Fox Valley Career Center this year. Janelle McCornack, who also teaches a similar class at Waubonsee Community College, is the instructor. She has been a firefighter and an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the Sugar Grove Fire District since 2001.

“This (class) is the funnest thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “These kids are so open; they really get excited and they think completely out of the box. It’s not like any other high school class they’ve ever taken.”

The class, similar to the fire science class, gives students an opportunity to practice hands-on skills, she said. It gives them an idea if this is something they want to do for a career.

Students learn to provide pre-hospital care for patients with a variety of medical complaints, including heart attacks, strokes and diabetic emergencies, as well as trauma patients with any type of injury. Among other skills, they learn to prepare patients with a possible spinal injury for transport, administer medications, control bleeding and administer CPR and artificial ventilation.

Kelly Walsh, the EMS Coordinator for the Sugar Grove Fire Department, helps teach the students how to conduct medical assessments. During a recent class, she gave the class a scenario, a 911 call from a 54-year-old man with abdominal pain.

The students had to talk to the patient, determine what was wrong and provide the appropriate care, Walsh said.

“Each patient you care for will teach you something,” McCornack said. “Slow down and listen to them. The best thing you can do is listen to the patient.”

During the scenario, the teachers simulated a heart attack, and the students had to do CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to care for the patient.

In March, the students will participate in 12 hours of clinical time in the emergency room at an area hospital. There are a few students in the class who want to go into pre-medicine, medical school or nursing.

“This gives them a huge head start,” McCornack said.

Feb. 25, 2010 Update: In a story on page 3B of the Feb. 11 edition of the Elburn Herald, “FVCC classes provide hands-on experience,” Kaneland High School senior Kyle Straughn’s name was spelled incorrectly. It has been fixed in this article.
The Elburn Herald wants its news reports to be fair and accurate. If you know of an error, please contact:
Ryan Wells, Editor
123 N. Main St., Elburn, IL 60119
e-mail: info@elburnherald.com
phone (630) 365-6446

The extra mile

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—All-around athlete Jeremy Kenny will use his running ability in September to raise money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Kenny, who graduated from Kaneland High School in 2004, participated in football, wrestling and track while a student there. He wrestled all four years on the varsity team.

Gary Baum, his wrestling coach, said Kenny started out with a lot of ability and is one of the hardest-working people he knows.

“He has a work ethic that is unbelievable,” Baum said. “He would run to school from home (Elburn) just for the work-out.”

While pursuing a degree in physical education at Northern Illinois University, Kenny began coaching wrestling under Baum at Kaneland High School in 2006. After his first year as a volunteer, the school offered him a paid job coaching the team.

“Jeremy is a very soft spoken individual who lets his actions speak for him,” Kaneland High School Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke said. “He is a hard worker and dedicates himself completely to whatever he does.

Under his leadership, the wrestling team won regionals in 2007. That year, eight of the seniors on the team graduated, and Kenny said he has since been in the process of rebuilding the team.

“I have a lot of expectations for good things this year,” Kenny said.

Baum said he wasn’t surprised to learn that Kenny was planning to run a marathon.

“That’s a pretty massive undertaking to prepare for such an event,” Baum said.

The marathon, which takes place on Sept. 20 in Maui, Hawaii, is 26.2 miles. Kenny said that although he has not run that far yet, he has been working up to it. He recently ran 17 miles, and will soon do a 20-mile and a 23-mile practice run with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program on the Chicago lakefront.

Although Kenny doesn’t have a personal connection with AIDS or HIV, he said he has wanted to run a marathon for some time, and this allows him to have a positive impact doing something he loves.

This coming school year he will substitute teach in the Kaneland School District and continue to coach wrestling while he trains for the marathon. He currently lives in DeKalb but plans to move back to Elburn in about a month, he said.

He has so far raised $1,400, through a cash raffle he organized and from his website, http://tinyurl.com/mc3ven. His goal is $3,500.

Grapplers set to begin Jahns era

by Mike Slodki

            A less prepared team might be scrambling.

            With former coach Gary Baum stepping down after a 20-year coaching career and the departure of four graduates, fans would understand if Kaneland wrestling got off to a slower-than-normal start.

            But with new head coach Monty Jahns, himself a former Knight wrestler and longtime assistant coach, it is going to be business as usual and hitting the mat running.

            “We are going to miss Coach Baum,” Jahns said. “Leadership was his biggest quality, and I hope to carry that on with these guys, along with dedication and making these guys the best wrestlers they can be.”

            Jahns is joined by Rob Bohaczyk, Jeremy Kenny and Joe Thorgesen on the coaching staff.

            Looking to make a name for themselves are Paul Morning at 112 pounds, Devon Scholl at 119 pounds and Matt Weaver at the 125-pound class.

            Kyle Davidson looks to pin down the competition at the 140 class. Senior Jay Levita, fresh off a postseason in which he stood out at last year’s regionals, sits at 145. Keagan Mattes begins at 171 and Jimmy Boyle takes over Fabrizius’ old spot at 285.

            “We want the kids to battle for seven minutes, finish the match strong and never give up,” Jahns said.

            Tuesday, Nov. 25, has Kaneland traveling to East Moline United.