The month of October is Fire Prevention Awareness Month and for area young students learning how to be prepared in the event of a fire cannot begin soon enough.
Students from Parkview Elementary learned several important lessons Friday morning as members of the Sedalia Fire Department along with their Fire Safety House made visits to Parkview.
“We feel it’s very important to teach and review what to do with our students if they are ever in a fire,” Principal Stephanie Jackson said. “Bringing the fire house here gives them some real world experience if they were ever in a fire.”
The House contains three rooms — a kitchen, living room and a bedroom — with fire hazards in each one. The students are asked to identify the potential hazards for the firefighters, for example an extension cord under a carpet.
They were also asked to explain what they could do to explain how the various hazards could be avoided.
“We try to teach them all aspects of what they would need to know in order to prevent a fire or what to do if there is a fire,” said SFD fire inspector Mike Jackson.
Students learn that in the event of a fire it is better to go low to the ground and crawl out of a building then walk at full height, and to use the back of their hand when touching a door to see if it is hot to the touch indicating a potential fire.
“We teach them to do that so if they do have to crawl out of the building their palms aren’t burned and they can get around more easily,” Mike Jackson said. “We let them climb out of the vehicle through the back window similar to what they would need to do if they had to exit a building with a ladder in that manner.”
One-hundred and five second graders were permitted to tour the Fire Prevention House but they were not the only students who benefited from the Sedalia Fire Department’s knowledge.
Earlier this week, the kindergarten classes from Parkview heard a presentation from Jamie Volk concerning fire safety. The first grade students had the opportunity to tour the newest fire station in Sedalia on West 16th Street to learn more about the work firefighters do.
Sedalia 200 schools practice fire drills each quarter, according to Stephanie Jackson, but Parkview has already completed three drills this school year.
“Our drill this morning was one of the best ones we have had so far, everything went extremely well,” Stephanie Jackson said. “We feel like we always have to be ready and so we prepare for every event.”
“If we can get them one piece of knowledge then we have done our job,” said SFD firefighter Zach Morales. “If they go home tonight and ask their parents to check their smoke detectors then they have done something really good.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484