By Jim Buell,
2nd Asst. Chief
Shelburne Fire Dept.
Dear mom and dad,
Today the fire department came and visited us at school. It was a lot of fun talking with them and hearing their message on safety tips that can help our family out. Ask me what I learned.
For those of us in kindergarten to 2nd grade, we heard that if fire gets on us, we should Stop, Drop and Roll. If there is smoke in the house, we learned to Crawl Low and Go. The fun part was we got to practice this using the Stop, Drop and Roll gym mat at the fire department’s smoke house. I can show you how to do it! We also heard that if we are trapped, we should throw our pillow out of the window. How funny is that! The entire class laughed when the fireman threw the pillow across the room. He also told us that we should never jump out of a window, but hang and drop. Hey, I learned the emergency telephone number, it is 911! We learned that it is important to stay on the phone with the dispatcher and to never hang up on them. A firefighter, along with one of our teachers, got dressed up in all of the gear they wear. That was neat, and we learned that firefighters are our friend and someone not to hide from. The fireman told us that if we needed to, when the fireman would holler looking for us, we could use our outside voice to holler back and let him know where we were. I can show you how to do that too! Did you know that smoking cigarettes is bad? We found that out today, and never will I start that nasty habit. The firefighter also told us that it is important to get out of a building if the smoke alarm sounds, even if it is from burnt food on the stove. That reminds me, we need to sit down at the table as a family to develop a home escape plan and then practice it. I have dibs on picking out our family meeting place! We finished up our day playing a neat game, Tools versus Toys. That was fun; I can play it with you if you like. Then, Sparky the Fire Dog paid us a visit as we walked through the hallways!
Being in 3rd and 4th grade, we got to go outside and tour the Fire Safety Trailer. That was a lot of fun and very interesting. The firefighters used little rooms to demonstrate home hazards that we had to find. That was a lot of fun and at the end we got to exit from the bedroom down an escape ladder. The firefighters were right there helping us get down. We need to get the family together to walk through our house and see what hazards we can find and then correct. The firefighters also reminded us that when we change our clocks back, we need to change the batteries in our smoke and CO detectors. Can we make a trip to the store to buy the batteries? One thing that they told us that we can help you with is if we bring a live tree in our house to celebrate Christmas, I can be responsible to check and make sure it has water each day. That is something I can do if it is OK with you.
Us 5th graders met as a group in the cafeteria and listened to a police officer and dispatcher tell us about 911 and how to report an emergency. It is really important to stay on the phone with the dispatcher until they tell us that it is now OK to hang up. We also discussed general safety items like stranger/danger, wearing our helmet with we ride our bike or skateboard, things like that. Let’s talk at dinner and I’ll fill you in.
Well, all those things were neat when we were in elementary school, but now that we are middle schoolers we already know all that stuff. This year all of the 6th through 8th graders gathered in the cafeteria and we viewed and discussed a power point presentation. The fire officer doing the presentation spoke about the anatomy of a 9-1-1 call. We learned how the phone company transfers our call to the dispatcher, how the put out tones to notify police, fire and rescue of an emergency (we actually heard the tones and a dispatch), how many people get involved and how long our emergency services community spends taking care of the emergency and follow up afterwards. He spoke to us about making good decisions when it comes to taking risks. It was a very interesting presentation.
For all of us, it was a great day and we learned a lot. Now, ask me what I learned and what I can share with you!
Your loving son or daughter
By Jim Buell,