Italy Volunteer Firemen teach fire safety

Image: Miss Hellner’s fourth grade class enjoying Fire Safety Week at Stafford.

Miss Hellner’s fourth grade class enjoying Fire Safety Week at Stafford. (Cindy Sutherland)

Monday at Stafford Elementary the Italy volunteer firemen drove up in their beautiful, red shinny fire engine. No, there was not a fire! These wonderful volunteer firemen of the Italy Volunteer Fire Department donated their time to the students to help them learn how to be safe in case of a fire.

Italy volunteer fireman Jackie Cate explained to the students there were several things you can do to be prepared if there was a fire. Some of them were:

  • Have a plan of escape in your home.
    • He asked them when they get home to get a piece of paper and draw out their floor plan of their house. He told them to mark with an x on all the windows and doors. He explained that it is the smoke that hurts you the most so if you know where you can get out it would be the quickest way to get out of your home and away from the smoke.
  • IF you are in a room that is filled with smoke you crawl out of the room.
    • You crawl because smoke rises so you crawl under the smoke.
  • If a fire starts in your house call 911 .
    • If you call from your home phone, your name and address will pop up on the screen and they can come immediately. If you call from a cell phone, or a different phone other than your home phone, you will have to know the address of the fire.

Italy Volunteer fireman Russell Coers put on the “bunker gear” while Jackie Cate explained what everything was for, such as the oxygen mask, rubber gloves, helment, boots and so on.

Then it was time for questions and there were a few. Some of the questions were:

  • Have you ever saved someone’s life?
    • The answer was yes.
  • How long does it take for a fireman to get his bunker gear on?
    • The answer was two minutes.
  • What about saving my dogs?
    • Answer was, you get out of the house as fast as you can. Don’t go back in for your animals, we will get them out.
  • Do you eat donuts?
    • The answer was no, that is for the police! But we will eat anything.

Then it was off to see the fire engine. Italy Volunteer Fireman Brad Chambers brought the students around the fire truck and explained all the equipment. The students got to go into the fire truck and see what it felt like to sit in that big seat.

Italy Volunteer Fire Chief Don Chambers said, “I have done more than thirty years of the fire prevention presentations and I really enjoy doing it. After a student has heard our presentation for a couple of years they remember it. And it really makes them more aware of what to do in case of a fire. And it really cuts down the number of false alarm calls for 911—it works.”

Once again another wonderful day of learning at Stafford Elementary. Thank you Italy Volunteer Firemen for caring.