Kids learn fire prevention

Students in Teresa Richards’ 4-year-old class posed in front of a Clanton fire truck on Wednesday as they learned various fire prevention tips.

Kids from Clanton’s First Baptist Church Weekday Education program had the opportunity to learn more about fire prevention on Wednesday as they toured the Clanton Fire Station.

Director of the FBC Weekday Education program Mary Mell Smith said the idea for the tour developed from wanting to teach younger children about community helpers.

“I think it is important for children at a younger age to learn that a police officer or a firefighter is not someone you should be afraid of,” Smith said. “It is good for the children to know that those involved in public service can actually be their friend.”

More than 70 children ages 2-4 had the opportunity to meet Clanton Fire Chief David Driver, to see how a fire truck works, what sort of gear a firefighter wears, and how to contact a firefighter in the case of an emergency.

Smith said the fire station tour was important for younger children to learn what to do if they should ever get lost from their parents, or if something catches on fire.

“We want the children to learn that if they ever have a problem, the firefighters are going to help them out,” Smith said.

Smith said the children had been given coloring sheets of firefighters and police officers at school earlier in the week to prepare them for their tour.

“We were supposed to come tour the fire station on Tuesday, but it rained all day,” Smith said. “Today, the weather could not be more beautiful, so it all worked out well.”

Driver said his goal for children learning about the fire department is to learn fire safety rules and know that if they ever have a concern to dial 911.

“Basic safety rules such as not playing with the stove or playing with matches is something every child needs to know,” Driver said. “Our fire department has responded to a few calls in the past where it was later determined that children started the fire, so we want to educate them at an early age that fire is not something to play with.”

Driver passed out plastic fire hats and coloring books to the kids at the conclusion of the tour that also dealt with fire safety.

“The kids might not necessarily remember everything we talked about today, but if they can take home a coloring book and go over everything with their parents, it might be easier for them to remember,” Driver said.

Driver said the entire month of October is Fire Prevention Month, but National Fire Prevention Week kicks off Oct. 7-13 with attention focused on ways to promote fire safety.

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