MCC students learn about fire prevention

MANISTEE — A group of smiling third grade students at Manistee Catholic Central were all excited to have two guests in their classroom on Tuesday afternoon.

City of Manistee firefighters Doug Dominick and Dan Reck talk to the third grade class at Manistee Catholic Central about fire safety. Students in the kindergarten to sixth grade level get two visits a year by the local fire department to teach the students about how to be safe from fire at home.

City of Manistee firefighters Doug Dominick and Dan Reck talk to the third grade class at Manistee Catholic Central about fire safety. Students in the kindergarten to sixth grade level get two visits a year by the local fire department to teach the students about how to be safe from fire at home.

“Who are we?” City of Manistee Fire Department’s Doug Dominick asked the students. “Fireman Doug and Fireman Dan” the enthusiastic youngsters replied in perfect unison.

Dominick and fellow fireman Dan Reck were taking part in the educational program that local school districts do at the elementary level in the local schools. The program has many facets to it as over the course of several years it teaches students what to do in the event of a fire, to formulate a plan to get out of their house, to learn to look for fire hazards that may exist and finally how to put out a fire.

Students also received the news from Dominick that because they have completed the next level of the program they will be becoming Smoke Detectives and receiving a badge.

“It’s an actual badge, but to get it you have to go through your house with your parents in the next few days and go over this checklist to make sure your house is safe from fire hazards,” said Dominick.

Dominick has been doing the school safety program in this area for nearly 20 years, but is retiring in January and will be turning it over to Reck when that happens. He said it is a good program that benefits students and their families.

“To have have an actual firefighter come to their class is good and we wear the uniforms to the class, so they can see we are firefighters,” said Dominick. “We get to give them a little education on how to keep them safe. We do every grade, kindergarten through sixth grade, and all of them except the kindergarten get two visits a year.”

Dominick said they finish at the sixth grade level with them learning how to extinguish an actual fire, so it is a well rounded education on fire safety.

MCC third grade teacher Laura Cameron said her students love the program. However, the more important thing is it teaches them the proper procedure on what to do in the event of a fire at school or home. She said seeing the firemen in a relaxed environment reminds the students they are there to help them.

“The firemen have a wonderful relationship with these kids,” said Cameron. “They connect with them and it is great to see fireman Doug back as he does a wonderful program. We start in kindergarten showing them the equipment. It makes the kids realize that they are safe and they are there to help them.”

Cameron said she has been teaching more than 20 years and said the program has been excellent for the entire time.

“It’s been a wonderful program every year they come in and the kids walk away with something new they learned,” said Cameron.

MCC director of marketing and development Jennifer Howes said the program benefits both the students and their families at home.

“I think as a parent you get that reminder when you get something in your child’s folder about fire safety to sit back and assess what your plan should be if there ever is a fire,” said Howes. “This is a such an asset to our school and (the firemen) are such an asset to our community to take time to educate our families about the dangers of fire. You think it is never going to be me, but unfortunately it does happen.”

 

 

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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