Department Chief George Gibson and Captain James Rickett showed the children a fire safety video, demonstrated the process of how firefighters suit up for duty and explained the many features found on the department’s fire truck.
“I believe the kids really enjoyed the program today,” Gibson said. “They really related to what we were talking about.”
The program began with the kids watching the national fire safety video, “Fire Safety Train with Conductor Paul.” As the children sang along with Conductor Paul and his friend, Firepup, the children learned how to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency and escape a building that is on fire in a safe manner.
Next, firefighters Gibson and Rickett showed the children the fire suits they wear and explained how each piece of equipment is necessary to a firefighter’s safety.
To end their demonstration, Gibson and Rickett took the children outside to observe the functions of each feature on the fire truck.
Rickett explained that the water the firefighters use can be stored on the fire truck and another truck called a tanker. The truck can hold up to 1,000 gallons of water and the tanker, used in case the truck runs out of water, can hold more than 1,450 gallons. He said that because there are a limited number of hydrants in Arley, the tanker is necessary and he said if that wasn’t enough, the firefighters could siphon the water from nearby pools.
Gibson described the use of the axes on a fire truck. He said that because of the numerous amount of obstacles in a house fire, firefighters use the axes to break down barriers and pry up floorboards or roofing to save victims.
As the children walked back inside, one little girl asked the firefighters what she should do if there is a fire and she needed to save her stuffed animal.
Captain Ricketts laughed, “You will have to leave it behind and escape, unfortunately. Because we can buy another stuffed animal, but we can’t buy another little girl.”
The firemen then presented each child with a sticker badge as congratulations and said that “they are all firefighters now.”
The children then finished the program by creating oatmeal starfish, made by cutting out the design of a starfish and pouring oatmeal over glue designs on paper plates.
Program coordinator Jennifer Stewart said, “The kids had a lot of fun today. Fire Chief Gibson and Captain Rickett taught the children about fire safety and what to do in case of a fire. I would like to thank them, as well as the department, for their help.”
The program will continue next Wednesday. The children will enjoy Coke and popcorn as they watch “Finding Nemo” for movie day.