“It’s a chance to open our doors and share the airport with the children in the community,” she said. “They get to see what the airport is all about.”
The visit also exposes them to careers in aviation and stresses the importance of learning the basic education skills in school, Burghdorf added.
“It’s a way of showing these children to learn reading, writing and math because someday they will be using these skills on a day to day basis in their careers and every day personal life,” she said.
The demonstration that got the most response from the kids, she added, was of the Rosenbauer Panther Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Vehicle. The sirens blared as the truck sped by and sprayed the kids with water.
“It sprays water and has the ability to spray a chemical retardant foam used to extinguish jet fuel fires,” she said.
That was the favorite part of the tour for Talin Petrosian, 8, who will be in the fourth grade at St. Robert Bellarmine School in the fall.
“I really liked when the water sprayed from the fire engine,” she said. “I got kind of wet, but it felt good because it was so hot.”
Several of the children have come every year, so Burghdorf tries to add new things for them to see, she said.
“This year, Atlantic Aviation brought a fueling truck and showed them how they check the fluids of a jet and how they fill it and what to do when there is a fuel spill,” she said.
Henry Leake, 10, a fifth-grader at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, got to carry the hose. After a bucket of water spilled, firefighters instructed him to demonstrate how the fire department uses sheets to absorb fuel in case of a spill, he said.