In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, the Eads Fire Department visited the Eads Elementary School last Wednesday, October 12 brining two fire engines and lots of fun and helpful information to the students.
The presentation was given by Jayce Negley, Eads Fire Station Chief, and Weston Meardon, Eads Station Captain who took two fire engines to the school to meet with children in Pre-K through 5th grade.
Glenn Smith, Eads Superintendent and Eads Elementary Principal said of the presentation, “I would like to thank the Kiowa County Fire Department for visiting our district during Fire Prevention Week. The firefighters were able to witness a fire evacuation drill firsthand, which I feel is invaluable in the event we have a real fire emergency at our campus in the future. Jayce Negley gave a short presentation about what students should do if they were alone and were involved in a fire at home. The students really enjoyed learning about the two fire trucks and getting to actually get in one.”
Negley and Meardon explained how the engines work and allowed the students to crawl around the engines and observe the interior and exterior of both apparatuses. The students were thrilled to realize that Engine #2 was originally one of the units that responded to the 9/11 tragedy in 2001 prior to Kiowa County purchasing it.
According to Russ Watson, Kiowa County District Chief, “Fire prevention week is put together to bring awareness to the youth. We encourage the children to go home and start a discussion with their parents/guardians about fire safety and making a plan for their household in case of the unfortunate event of a home fire. They can plan for an escape route and safe meeting area away from the home.”
During the presentation the children were told what firefighters will be wearing and what they might look like and sound like when in full bunker gear and while wearing a SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus).
Watson indicated, “Sometimes to young children the mask and sound of air moving plus the size of a firefighter wearing full bunker gear may look scary and intimidating. We want to assure them that we are there to help them and not harm them.”
Finally, the local firefighters talked to the young students about starting fires. Fire prevention, of course, was discussed. But also, in discussion was how to get out of a house that is on fire. One big point that was emphasized to the children was in the event that the young child may have started the fire, the Eads firefighters told them to not be afraid and hide thinking they would be punished.
Watson said, “Children have been known to hide under beds, in closets, or anywhere they can think of to hide from firefighters because they think they will be punished. We tried to assure these kids that the firefighters are only there to help them rather than harm them.”
The Eads Fire Department, part of the Kiowa County Fire Protection Department, continue to explore ways to conduct community outreach during the year. They are mostly funded by a special tax district and as such are there to assist and protect the citizens of Kiowa County.