Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2007

Firefighters go into schools for Fire Prevention Week

October 11, 2007

It may have been laughs and giggles from the students of Kinder Care Learning Center as they watched a firefighter layer on the heavy gear they're known for, but the message behind the lesson Tuesday afternoon was anything but a joke.

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Monday, Oct. 8, to Friday, Oct. 12, firefighters with Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 went out into the community visiting schools and giving lessons on important fire safety tips.

"It's always better if we get it into their heads early," firefighter Mark Alligood said.

While visiting Kinder Care, four firefighters hoped to get the young children familiar with the idea of their work so in an emergency situation, they don't get scared and hide. During the demonstration, firefighter Eddie Zertuche, put on his gear, including helmet and oxygen tank, to show the students what to expect if there was ever a fire in their house.

Many students were timid at first, but most seemed to warm up to the idea. As Zertuche removed his mask, one student yelled "It's Eddie!" as though suddenly realizing there was a real man behind the mask that once seemed so scary.

Students were told not to hide if there was ever a fire and make plenty of noise so firefighters could quickly locate and help them.

Students also were taught about the dangers of playing with matches or lighters and what the purpose of a smoke detector is.

After fire safety coloring books and stickers were passed out, firefighter Dave Asmus showed off one of the district's trucks.

While students climbed through the seats and got an inside look at the vehicle, Alligood said he hoped the lessons the children learned would make it home to their parents. The children can remind parents about the importance of smoke detectors and make sure their families have a safe meeting place should a fire occur he said.

In the past year, Alligood said fires in Lansing have risen slightly, but he attributes that rise to the growth of the city itself. He added that, however, many of the fires he sees are not started from children playing with matches or something similar and hopes that the yearly prevention week lessons have something to do with that.

For more information about events with the Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, visit the Web site http://geocities.com/lvcofiredistrict1/.

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