Fire safety class prepares children for emergenciesBy Emily Beckett Published 5:29pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Elementary students at Isabella High School learned about fire safety and prevention Tuesday at the Isabella Volunteer Fire and Rescue building.
Fire Chief Brent Conway led classes for more than 200 students in kindergarten–second grade as part of Fire Prevention Month.
“We try to do it every year in October,” Conway said. “That’s usually the age group you need to target to teach them as early as you can.”
Conway told students to dial 911 in emergencies, to make sure the smoke detectors in their homes are working properly, to stay low and crawl out if a room is filled with smoke and to set up a meeting place with their parents in case a fire breaks out in their home.
Conway also told students what to do if their clothes catch on fire.
“You duck and roll, and if the fire gets on you, you run, drop and roll,” 5-year-old Madi Littleton said.
Littleton, who is in Carla Davis’ kindergarten class, said she enjoyed meeting Sparky the Fire Dog on Tuesday.
“He gives hugs, and he’s nice and he’s friendly,” Littleton said.
Volunteer firefighters Andy Mims and Lynn Miller showed the students the fire engines and rescue truck.
Eli Miller, 5, is also in Davis’ class and said he liked looking at the fire trucks and first-aid supplies firefighters keep in the side compartments, such as neck braces.
“I learned about the jam doors,” Miller said. “I learned how to change batteries in a smoke detector.”
Conway put a full fire suit on, including his facemask and oxygen tank, to show the children how firemen look and sound when they are helping rescue people from a burning structure and putting out fires.
“There have been times when kids actually hid from a fireman because they were scared, and they didn’t make it out,” Conway said. “That’s why we want to dress up and show them what we look like and sound like so they will not be scared.”
All of the students received plastic fire helmet hats and goodie bags with activity books, stickers and fire safety reminder bracelets.
Conway said common questions he hears from kids about fires are about what to do if their house is on fire and they are alone, and what to do if someone with them is sick or injured.
On some calls they respond to, Conway said kids tell him they remembered what to do because of the fire safety class, or parents say their kids reminded them of the proper ways to handle emergencies.
“We just want to try to help at as early an age as we can,” Conway said.
Isabella Fire and Rescue has about 17 volunteer members and serves between 1,500–2,000 residents.