Safety: One size fits all

Published 10:42 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This week is not only Fire Prevention Awareness Week, but also Community Helpers Week, when many local preschoolers and elementary students get to meet police officers, firefighters and rescue workers.

The primary message is that kids shouldn’t be afraid of public safety servants, and they should know to call 911 in a time of emergency.

“We do this to let children know that these people are their friends and that they will help them at any time in the community,” Clanton First Baptist Preschool director Mary Mell Smith said. “We don’t want them to be afraid.”

If a child has a good understanding of the function of public safety, then they will be less likely to run from policemen, firefighters or rescue workers in a situation where they need to be rescued, Smith added.

Sixty-plus kids at First Baptist witnessed Clanton firefighter Dewayne Driver put on a set of turnout gear yesterday so they would know that underneath all that gear, there is a normal person.

Monday they met an ambulance driver, and Friday they will do a class project relating to public safety.

Lt. David Driver of the Clanton FD stressed the need for parents to teach their kids these valuable lessons.

“I was out there for 20 or 30 minutes, but these things need to be taught year round,” he said. “It falls a lot on the parents to make sure their children know safety, practice fire drills and who to call in a time of emergency.”