Sunday Oct. 4 marked the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week. Powell firefighters spent some time at various elementary schools during the week to teach youngsters about fire safety and, …
Sunday Oct. 4 marked the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week. Powell firefighters spent some time at various elementary schools during the week to teach youngsters about fire safety and, hopefully, how to survive a house fire.
At Southside Elementary School, the firefighters seemed to be having fun as they discussed a deadly serious topic.
As they had a student describe fire drills at the school, one ran across the grass willy-nilly, arms flapping as the children laughed. But it brought into focus that they needed to help their families develop an orderly escape plan, just like the school has.
The plan includes checking the fire alarm in their home to make sure it works and that they know what it sounds like. The firefighters also made sure the children knew if they smelled smoke to get low and and escape the house, even if that meant climbing out a window.
“Smoke is the most dangerous thing in a fire,” said volunteer firefighter Nate Mainwaring.
They also went over how important it was not to return to the home and to meet up with their parents at a pre-determined location. That location was part of the planning the firefighters were encouraging the students to undertake with their parents and siblings.
At that point, two of the firefighters suited up and put on their breathing apparatus to crawl through the children seated on the grass, allowing them to see, hear and touch the outfit.
“Don’t be scared of us when we look like this, “ said Chris Schuler.
They urged children not to hide from the rescue squad, and instead be loud, scream and wave their arms. The entire class practised enthusiastically.
The firefighters warned the kids not to play with matches or lighters and advise an adult when those items were left in the reach of children. In case their clothing catches fire, the firefighters discussed and demonstrated the classic stop, drop and roll maneuver.
The children were also reminded that if there was trouble, they needed to call 9-1-1 and give the dispatcher their address, which the firefighters told them to memorize.
After the discussion, demonstrations and laughter, it was time for the hoses to be activated so that the students could have a turn at spraying the grass, the fence and occasionally each other.