IHS students visit fire station

Published 9:42 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Isabella elementary students explored the local fire department’s equipment during a visit to Isabella Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

The visit was a part of Isabella High School’s annual career week presentations.

Students enjoyed climbing into the seat of an engine and spraying water from a small fire hose.

Isabella Fire Chief Brent Conway had to repeatedly explain why the fire dog was not at the event. Conway said the dog was usually on site for the children’s visit, but was at the vet this year.

Conway said he especially enjoys showing the students the rescue equipment “because I don’t think people realize that we do all that.”

“We try to highlight and focus on fire safety, making sure that they know to call 911 for an emergency, have a safe place at their home where they go for emergencies,” Conway said.

During his presentation, Conway stressed that each family needs to pick a spot outside where they would meet, such as the mailbox, in case of a fire. He said once the students were out of the building, it was important for them not to re-enter their house for any reason.

The importance of having a smoke detector and testing to make sure the batteries work was also stressed.

“Your job when you get home is to make sure you have one,” Conway said.

Students were also told not to hide from firemen if they are trapped in the house during a fire.

A fire fighter showed the students the protective gear he wears when responding to a fire, so they would know what a firefighter would look like when trying to find them.

Conway explained to the students that the air pack and mask firefighters wear make them sound funny.

The equipment weighs between 40 to 50 pounds.

“We talk to them about what we do here,” Conway said. “A lot of people don’t understand what we do. We try to make sure that they understand that we do medical, all wrecks, fires of all kinds.”

Conway said the members of the department attend training and give their best to the community.

“We are 100 percent volunteer,” Conway said. “Everyone here has other jobs.”

Conway has served as chief for the past 10 years and has been with the department for the past 25 years.