Fire Prevention Lessons At Newtown Schools

Published: November 03, 2018 at 07:00 am


Throughout October, local fire companies visited Newtown elementary schools to share fire safety tips as part of annual fire prevention activities.

National Fire Prevention Week ran October 7-13, and fire prevention lessons inspired by the week were shared throughout the month in Newtown.

Middle Gate Elementary School hosted firefighters from Botsford Fire Rescue on October 8. Fire Prevention Officer Bill McAllister explained the day’s lessons included demonstrations of different fire hazards and gear used by firefighters. The firefighters also discussed the importance of having a designated safe meeting place for families, and students climbed through the fire truck. A modified dollhouse set up to demonstrate how smoke spreads through a home was also at the school for the day.

“The focus is to get them fire conscious,” said Mr McAllister.

Hawleyville Volunteer Fire and Rescue support member Donna Ball, Botsford Fire Rescue Firefighters Mike Gruber and Marty Schertzer, and Maritza Nezvesky, a support member who does fire police duties, all helped share the fire safety lessons at Middle Gate School. Classes rotated through the presentations throughout a portion of the day.

The following week, members of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company spent a school day at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Captain Pete Barresi, Engineer Andy DeWolfe, Firefighters Craig Kampmier and Angie Ruggiero, and Probationary Member Leslie Richards spent the morning offering fire prevention tips to children, by grade, inside the school’s auditorium. During the afternoon, classes visited the firefighters outside, where they had the opportunity to check out one of the fire company’s engines and many of the tools used during calls.

A few days later, on October 17, firefighters Jeff Belorit and Chris Moquin, Lieutenant Steve Osmolik, and Safety Officer Kirk Blanchard represented Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Co No. 1 during a visit at Head O’ Meadow Elementary School. Students learned about different things that are dangerous to play with, like matches, and how they should tell an adult if they come across something dangerous. Mr Blanchard also made sure the students know to dial 911 if they need firefighters, the police, or an ambulance.

When a smoke detector goes off, Mr Blanchard told the students in one group, “You don’t hide; you get outside,” and as they make their way out of the house, they should “stay low and go.” Students also spoke about the importance of having a meeting place where they can meet their parents, and firefighters demonstrated wearing gear before the students climbed into a fire truck. Students also learned how to stop, drop, and roll. Classes took turns meeting the firefighters outside of the school for the presentations.

Hawley Elementary School had its fire safety presentations on October 29, when Newtown Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 members visited the school. According to First Assistant Chief Jason Rivera; Third Assistant Chief Jason Shuttleworth; and Firefighters Tim Gies, Shari Gies, and Emily Clark, all helped share the presentations.

Mr Shuttleworth spoke with rotating classes outside the school, where a ladder truck and other company vehicles were parked. He spoke to the students about some of the equipment used to fight fires.

Inside the school, Mr Rivera and Ms Clark spoke to classes about what firefighters do and wore gear to demonstrate what a firefighter may look like when responding to a fire. Mr Gies and Ms Gies oversaw running a smoke room set up in the school’s multipurpose room to demonstrate how students should crawl through smoke if necessary.

Local preschools and other schools were also visited by fire companies throughout the month.

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