Students learn about fire safety

KiNdergarten students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School listen as members of Bartow-Frank-Durbin fire and rescue department explain how important it is to have a smoke detector in their home and bedroom. From left, Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Egan, Michael Carpenter, Heather Kerr, Mark Kane, Brent Doolittle, Jessica Varner, Ashley Peacock and Spencer Carr gave each student a smoke detector to take home, as well as a goodie bag. Not pictured: Mike Vance and Rhonda Woodruff. S. Stewart photo
KiNdergarten students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School listen as members of Bartow-Frank-Durbin fire and rescue department explain how important it is to have a smoke detector in their home and bedroom. From left, Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Egan, Michael Carpenter, Heather Kerr, Mark Kane, Brent Doolittle, Jessica Varner, Ashley Peacock and Spencer Carr gave each student a smoke detector to take home, as well as a goodie bag. Not pictured: Mike Vance and Rhonda Woodruff. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Members of the Bartow-Frank-Durbin fire and rescue department visited Green Bank Elementary-Middle School last week to share important information on fire safety.

BFD Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Egan asked students in the kindergarten class if they knew what to do if their house should catch on fire.

Students answered enthusiastically that they have to get out of the house as soon as possible, by going through the door or the window.

“Fires are very fast,” Egan replied. “You don’t wait. You get out quickly. That’s right.”

Egan added, it is very important, if a child is in a house that is on fire, that they make noise and not hide from the firefighters who are trying to save them.

“A lot of children hide in the closet or under the bed because they’re really afraid,” he said. “That makes it really hard for [us] to come and find them. You need to be down low, but you need to be in the open and make as much noise as you can.”

To show the students what a firefighter looks like when they are entering a house, Brent Doolittle dressed in full gear, including his oxygen mask and tank.

“He’s pretty scary when he’s got his suit on,” Egan said. “He breathes funny because he’s got a special mask on so he can breathe in the smoke. He’s got his protective stuff on. Mr. Doolittle has got this coat and pants he puts on, it protects him from the fire so he can come looking for you through the fire. You won’t be able to see Mr. Doolittle’s face.”

Doolittle also had equipment on his suit that beeped if he stopped moving. Egan said this is so the other firefighters know where he is at all times.

“Hear the beeping?,” Egan asked. “That tells other firefighters where he is and this is what he’ll look like coming into your room if there’s a fire.”

Egan also went over the rules of “Stop, Drop and Roll” with the students, who were very aware that if their clothes were on fire, they were to roll on the ground to extinguish the fire.

The firefighters and rescue workers visited the school for Fire Safety Week and they also had special gifts for all the kindergarten students.

The Snowshoe Foundation received a grant which provided funding to buy smoke detectors/CO2 detectors for the homes of kindergarten students in Pocahontas County.

“One of the things we’re trying to do this year is we’re trying to get everybody to have smoke alarms in their room so they will surely wake up,” Egan said. “We have a smoke alarm for all of you. We hope you will be able to put these up in your bedroom.”

Other members of BFD who attended the event included Spencer Carr, Ashley Peacock, Jessica Varner, Mark Kane, Michael Carpenter, Mike Vance, Heather Kerr and Rhonda Woodruff.

The BFD also gave a presentation to first through fifth grade students at GBEMS.

The Marlinton Fire Department visited Marlinton Elementary School and School Days Child Care.

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