Stetson McCabe gives a look of admiration to Josh Young, a real-life firefighter that visited his preschool class Monday. — Johnson Publications
Preschoolers listen attentively to volunteer firefighter Bob Heldenbrand (kneeling) at the Fire Prevention Week program. — Johnson Publications
Fire prevention taught by the pros
Fire Prevention Week started Sunday, Oct. 8, and will continue through Saturday, Oct. 14. This year’s theme is “Every second counts: Plan 2 ways out!” By the end of their program, even the youngest of students at Dragon’s Wagon Preschool were dutifully replying “two” when asked how many exits they need in an escape plan.
Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department is sending firefighters into local schools to teach students strategies to prevent fires and what to do in case of one. On Monday, Oct. 9, they visited Dragon’s Wagon Preschool in full uniform and with two trucks from their fleet. On Thursday, Oct. 12, they will be visiting Holyoke Elementary School for another program.
In addition to learning about escape plans, students reviewed a number of potentially dangerous items. Firefighter Bob Heldenbrand reminded preschoolers that if they ever see matches or a lighter that they should not touch them. Instead, go tell an adult.
To prepare kids for a fire that they hope never happens, firefighters donned helmets and masks, demonstrating what their voices sound like through all the protective layers. They reassured students that they needn’t be afraid of firefighters even when their uniforms make them look unrecognizable.
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