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Burnaby firefighters help summer school kids keep cool

Summer school students gather on the Edmonds Community School field every Friday after classes are over for a drenching from a fire truck from the fire station next door.

Folks passing by Edmonds Community School on Friday afternoons while summer school is in session might have noticed a strange phenomenon these past few weeks.

Students and a couple teachers gather on the school’s gravel field, some holding umbrellas.

Just outside the fence, a fire truck sets up, the long ladder telescoping towards the field.

The crowd jostles, everyone looking up at the firefighters high on the long ladder against the blue summer sky.

Suddenly water explodes from the top of the ladder, unleashing squeals from the crowd below.

For the next 15 minutes or so, the firefighters rain cooling water onto the hot gravel field while kids shriek and run and splash.

Firefighters from the Edmonds fire hall, located just outside the school’s fence, have provided this joyous weekly spectacle for about three years now, according to Ernie Kashima, the site supervisor at Edmonds Community School during the summer session.

“It began with a simple knock on the door of Firehall Number 2 and a conversation with the captain on duty,” Kashima tells the NOW.

Every Friday afternoon for the weeks summer school is in session, firefighters pull the ladder truck out of the station, hook it up to a nearby hydrant and let fly.

Of course, public safety comes first, so the drenching sessions only go ahead if both of the fire hall’s trucks are at the station.

Burnaby's elementary summer session wrapped up Friday.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor