Students at Mispillipn Elementary School enjoyed a break from the classroom on Friday, May 31 as they were introduced to First Responders including police officers, Emergency Medical Services, firefighters and park rangers from several organizations including the Milford Police Department, Memorial Fire Company, Millsboro Fire Company, Delaware State Parks and Fish and Wildlife Services. Each group educated students on the importance of their departments and how they relate to their every day lives.
“It is a great time to honor our First Responders and educate the kids on how these professionals can help them,” commented Mike Hilligoss, Mispillion Administration. “We want our children to be comfortable about who these First Responders are and what they do in case they are ever in need of their services.”
Officer TJ Webb, of the Milford Police Department K9 Unit, introduced students to his partner Henk, a two-year-old German Shepard from Holland. Professionally trained alongside Officer Webb for six months, Henk is an integral part of the Milford Police Department that accompanies him to work and at home.
“One of the things that Henk can do is find bad guys,” explained Officer Webb to a group of second grade students. “Even if I find myself in trouble and he is in the car, I can push this button on my belt to open his car door so he can assist me.” Students were also shown the training equipment that Officer Webb uses to train Henk for duty.
The Millsboro Fire Company shared their Fire Safety House with students as they were taught about fire safety and prevention at home. Ryan Stuart of the Millsboro Fire Company believes that children are the key to fire safety among local families.
“We teach students about fire safety and what to do in case of a fire in their house,” commented Stuart. “When you get kids involved with education about smoke detectors and fire exit plans parents are more likely to to take an active role at home.”
Mispillion students also met with ambulance paramedics, emergency helicopter crews and other state officials throughout the day.
“It is important that the children are familiar with First Responders in their community,” commented Robert McPhatter, Behavior Specialist at Mispillion Elementary. “If our kids are in an emergency situation we want them to see the First Responders as their friends and as someone that will help.”