Local Fire Departments Aim to Save Lives with Fire Prevention Week Education

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (EYT) – This week is National Fire Prevention Week and local fire departments are working with schools, preschools and daycares as part of an ongoing effort to educate the public on fire safety.

Firefighters know that this is the type of educational opportunity that could save a life. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were a total of 112 home fire fatalities in 2017 and 98 home fire fatalities have already been reported for 2018. According to the National Fire Protection Association, children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65 are at the highest risk for injury or death in a fire. This is why Fire Prevention Week aims to bring awareness for fire prevention and fire safety in our communities and schools.

The Pinecreek, Sigel and Brookville fire companies teamed up this year to provide fire safety programs to local daycares, preschools, and elementary schools. Next week, they will continue programming for the Rebecca M. Arthur’s Memorial Library’s Children’s Story Hour, the Brookville YMCA preschool and Discovery Kids.

Sigel Fire Department’s Assistant Chief 19-1, Justin Miller, spoke to Mrs. Amsler’s third grade class on Thursday about the importance of checking smoke detectors, having a meeting place and plan in the event of a fire, as well as what to do if you’re clothes catch fire. Students demonstrated the Stop, Drop and Roll technique and how to call 911 for help in an emergency.

Students also watched as Pinecreek volunteer, John Netzlof, dress piece by piece in his full gear so that they could see all the items firefighters have to wear. Afterwards, a surprise guest, Marshall the Fire Dog from Paw Patrol, visited the students.

According to Pinecreek Fire Department Captain, Chuck Nelson, establishing a good relationship with schools and students is an important way to not only educate the public on fire safety, but also shows them that firefighters are there to help in an emergency. He added that the experience is also rewarding for him and the other volunteers he works with. “I been called a number of times after we did fire prevention and parents say, ‘Oh my goodness, that’s all my child talked about when they get home!’” Nelson said. “That makes you feel good because you know the little ones are learning. They retain it. They know what’s going on. It’s nice to know that.”

The Corsica Fire Department visited Clarion-Limestone School District on Wednesday to talk to the students there about fire safety.

Volunteer, Cole Grenci, says Fire Prevention Week requires a coordinated effort locally and nationally to help keep the public safe and prepared. “I think fire prevention is something that all companies locally and nationwide should teach the younger generation,” Grenci said. “There is nothing better than going out to the schools and showing them what equipment we use and let them see us in full gear to know what to expect if we ever have to show up to help them in need.”

Clarion-Limestone Elementary School Principal, Kristie Taylor, says that she appreciates the potentially life-saving educational opportunities provided during Fire Prevention Week. “We cannot thank Don Smith and the Corsica Volunteer Fire Department enough or their dedication to keeping our community safe,” she said.

She added that the presentation was not just informative, but also fun for the students. “They brought three vehicles in full force!” Taylor said. “It was impressive how they taught the students how to keep themselves safe.”

The Reynoldsville Fire Department was also busy during Fire Prevention Week. They visited the Jefferson/Clarion Head Start classes in Sykesville, the kindergarten classes at CG Johnson Elementary School, and a preschool class at Jeff Tech to talk about fire safety.

To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit the National Fire Protection Association at https://www.nfpa.org.


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