CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University students took part in a national event on Thursday to make sure they are ready in the event of an emergency.
PrepareAthon took over the campus and students were given the chance to come face-to-face with first responders from the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, the Horry County Sheriff's Office and others.
"So this event helps them not only to prepare themselves, but to also get to know our local first responders to get comfortable with them in case something does happen," said Carissa Medeiros, CCU's emergency management director.
Some students even volunteered to put out a real fire.
"It was interesting," said freshman Melissa Hydock said. "To actually do hands-on experience rather than just reading directions, because now you have a feel for actually doing it and you'll be more confident having to do it in a real-life situation."
While each student had a card with questions prepared by the university, many students were interested in not only emergency situations, but the actual career opportunities behind it all.
"I've also had just some other questions to ask them that maybe other people haven't asked," Hydock said. "Like I asked about storm chasing and I actually met someone who actually did that and their experiences with it and they actually like doing it."
MBFP Lt. Jonathan Evans said it is good for the community to talk with firefighters and police officers to make sure everyone is on the same page and for residents to know they are there to help.
"So it's good to get out here and talk to them and also show them future job opportunities once they graduate," Evans said.
This marks the third year for the PrepareAthon at CCU.