Fort Sill fire officials push fire safety into schools
October 15, 2010
FORT SILL, Okla.--Fort Sill Fire and Emergency Services firefighters were out in force last week meeting with children and the community to promote fire safety during National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9.
The firefighters gave presentations, showed videos, provided giveaways and brought out their smoke house training trailer and fire trucks to the child development centers, the post's two public schools and the Main Post Exchange.
Firefighters were at Geronimo Road Elementary School Oct. 4, where they hosted a fire safety rodeo, which gave students a chance to pull fire hoses, stop-drop-and-roll and ring the Sparky bell, said Bobby Klein, captain.
"It went well; the kids enjoyed it a lot," he said.
Stop-drop-and-roll is a technique to use if your hair or clothes are on fire, said Michael Hickman, Fort Sill Fire and Emergency Services fire inspector.
"Most of the kids are better at this stuff now than we are," said Hickman, referring to the lessons they gave the children. "They've been doing it for several years. It's well ingrained in them and that makes me sleep better at night."
Firefighters were at Sheridan Road Elementary School Oct. 7, with their fire safety smoke house and a ladder truck from Station No. 2.
Children were taught: to evacuate a burning house because no one can hide from a fire; that firefighters are their friends even though they may look scary when they are dressed in gear; to have a safe family meeting place once out of the house; and how to place a 9-1-1 call from a neighbor's house.
Sherrell Nelson, Sheridan physical education teacher, led a group of fourth grade students through the displays outside the school.
"We want them to be as safe as they can be, to take this information that they've learned home to their families," she said. "Parents know about fire safety, but they can always be reminded."
Children are a great way to educate their parents and siblings about fire safety, said Bill Ballton, fire inspector.
"The children go home and their ask their parents about their fire evacuation plan and they check their smoke detector batteries," he said.
Of course, the Sheridan students had questions for the firefighters.
"How long is the ladder on the fire truck'"
"Does stuff ever fall off the truck when you drive fast'"
-Sometimes. We used to have pop-open storage doors and that would happen. Now that we have roll-down doors it's not so common.
"Have you ever rescued a cricket from a burning house'"
-No, but I've rescued cats and dogs and even a fish tank.
Sheridan fourth grader Kali Fox, 10, said she learned a lot from the firefighters.
"I learned not to hide during a fire and to run," Kali said. "I will tell it to my mom and dad, my little sister and my niece."
Fourth grader Dalon Triggs 9, said he learned how to call 9-1-1 and what to do if his clothing was on fire.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Chicago fire of Oct. 8, 1871, that killed more than 250 people, according to the National Fire Protection Association website. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed.