By Taylor Shunk
Kids love firetrucks and that’s why they’re the perfect tool for Avenue Preschool’s annual fire school. “We all look forward to the annual visit,” said Matt French, a teacher at Avenue.” It’s one of the kid’s absolute favorite days.”
Fire safety school, which happens every October, started with a lesson from Charles Vanaman, A 47 year veteran of the Carlisle Fire Company. Vanaman patiently helped all the kids use the fire hose then allowed them to walk through the fire truck. “The children just loved seeing the firetruck and spraying the hose,” said Cindy Mackesey, a teacher at Avenue. Carlisle Fire Company has demonstrations at all the local schools but Avenue preschool is close to Vanaman’s heart. “Avenue is a great school,” said Vanaman. “My daughter and grandson both attended here.”
The second half of fire school began with a safety lesson given by Kevin Hovis from the Delaware Fire School. The kids listened intently to Hovis as he energetically read a story that highlighted the safe usage of lighters and matches. “The Delaware Fire School always does such a good job keeping it fun,” said Mackesey.
Some of Hovis’ other safety tips for the included “stop, drop & roll,” having a safe meeting place in case of fire, telling an adult if someone is playing with matches or a lighter, crawling because smoke rises and most importantly, no hiding from firefighters. Hovis, a father himself, knows firsthand that many kids are scared of firefighters when they have their masks on so, he showed them each step of his uniform. The fire safety lessons seem to have a lasting effect on kids.
“We could certainly teach them ourselves,” said French. “But it wouldn’t have nearly the impact that it does coming from a real firefighter.”
October is National Fire Prevention Month which means it’s the perfect time to do a quick fire safety assessment. According to The National Fire Protection Association, you should check your smoke detectors, look for fire hazards in your home, learn two ways out of every room, keep exits free of clutter and have a safe meeting place where everyone will gather.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.