Students learn about fire safety

During a fire safety program at Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools this week, emergency personnel showed students signs with mportant key words and phrases, then quizzed them throughout the day. (Courtesy photo)

During a fire safety program at Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools this week, emergency personnel showed students signs with mportant key words and phrases, then quizzed them throughout the day. (Courtesy photo)

BRETHREN — Oftentimes children become frightened during an emergency situation such as a fire, and many times they are found hiding.

“We don’t want our kids to hide, we want them to go outside which is one of the catchy slogans: ‘Don’t Hide, Go outside,'” said Tina Robinson, Fire and Emergency Safety Program Coordinator for Maple Grove Township Fire and EMS, and Norman Township Fire and EMS.

In efforts educate and familiarize children with firefighters, emergency personnel and equipment, students at Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools participated in a program this week that aimed to make them less afraid of emergency situations.

Personnel from Maple Grove Township Fire and EMS, Dickson Township Fire and EMS, Norman Township Fire and EMS, and Munson Manistee EMS were at the school, allowing students to look at and touch equipment, ask questions and become familiar with the trucks and tools so they have a better understanding of what is going on in various situations, said Robinson.

The “Bucket Brigade” game allowed students to use water from the Dickson Fire Department's brush truck to fill buckets. Two teams of students would each work together to fill up their bucket until they could put enough weight in their bucket to “lift the window and put the fire out”. (Courtesy photo)

The “Bucket Brigade” game allowed students to use water from the Dickson Fire Department’s brush truck to fill buckets. Two teams of students would each work together to fill up their bucket until they could put enough weight in their bucket to “lift the window and put the fire out”. (Courtesy photo)

“Over the years of doing the program, we have seen how it has changed the children’s response when we see them on scenes for themselves or loved ones,” she said. “They smile and initiate conversation, and that is what we want.”

Students from kindergarten through sixth grade started the day off with an assembly, during which emergency personnel emphasized this year’s Fire Prevention Week slogan, “Know 2 Ways Out!” and spoke on several topics such as what an emergency is, the importance of an escape plan, and fire and emergency prevention information.

Students also visited several stations set up outside, like a fire engine, an ambulance, a brush truck, an obstacle course and a smoke trailer.

New this year, children could have lunch with the firefighters and EMTs, said Robinson.

At the conclusion of the day, drawings were held and two students received free bikes, two gift baskets were handed out and every student received a water bottle with a fireman’s cap.

“The work of Tina Robinson and the entire fire department is so important because many tragic situations involving fire could have been prevented with education and practice,” said KND principal Jake Veith. “The department has done a great job getting the fire safety information out to our students and families, and they continue to support the school each and every year.”

Robinson said the emergency personnel is making plans to visit preschools separately.

During a recent fire safety program at KND Schools, students could check out emergency vehicles and talk with firefighters and EMTs, as well as meet Sparky the Fire Dog. (Courtesy photo)

During a recent fire safety program at KND Schools, students could check out emergency vehicles and talk with firefighters and EMTs, as well as meet Sparky the Fire Dog. (Courtesy photo)

“This is especially important for the little ones as a firefighter with a suit, mask, helmet and air pack appears much larger and even sound different, and they often can’t see the person behind the suit,” she said. “For this reason, we spend a little more one-on-one time and let the firefighter speak to the kids and interact with them prior to putting a full suit on. They get to feel the suit, learn about it and other equipment and hear what that firefighter sounds like after the suit is on.”

Robinson was especially grateful to the businesses, volunteers, firefighters and EMTs that helped make the day a huge success.

Leave a Reply