TEACH­ABLE MO­MENT

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — COATESVILLE AREA SCHOOL DIS­TRICT

Wagontown Fire Com­pany fire­fight­ers vis­ited Kings High­way Ele­men­tary School stu­dents last Fri­day to teach them about safety. The fire­fight­ers handed prizes to stu­dents who vis­ited them dur­ing re­cess af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion.

WEST CALN >> Wagontown fire­fight­ers talked with Kings High­way Ele­men­tary School stu­dents last Fri­day in time for Fire Preven­tion Week to teach them how to stay safe.

Wagontown Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany mem­bers be­gan visit­ing the Kings High­way Ele­men­tary School, of the Coatesville Area School Dis­trict, more than 16 years ago. Fire­fight­ers said the an­nual pro­gram is based off the “Learn not to Burn” pro­gram that was ini­ti­ated by the Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion (NFPA). Fire preven­tion week runs from Oct. 9 - 15.

The NFPA said its Fire Preven­tion week cam­paign this year is “don’t wait – check the date” to re­place smoke alarms ev­ery 10 years.

NFPA’s sur­vey data shows that the “pub­lic has many mis­con­cep­tions about smoke alarms, which may put them at in­creased risk in the event of a home fire.” NFPA said for ex­am­ple, only a small per­cent­age of peo­ple know how old their smoke alarms are, or how of­ten they need to be re­placed. NFPA noted to find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of man­u­fac­ture on the back of the alarm and re­place the alarm 10 years from that date.

The fire­fight­ers be­gan their visit last Fri­day with hav­ing the stu­dents learn and prac­tice how to “stop, drop and roll.” The pro­gram is of­fered to stu­dents in kinder­garten through fifth grade.

Wagontown Fire Chief Todd Ziegler said the pro­gram pro-

vides a “good ba­sis for fire preven­tion train­ing and al­lows us to get out and pro­vide this train­ing with the hopes of pre­vent­ing fire deaths or in­juries.”

“The main fo­cus is to pro­vide this train­ing which hope­fully makes it home with the ma­te­ri­als we send home with them,” Ziegler said. “Then in turn pass­ing this on to their fam­i­lies at home which will pro­tect them in the event of a fire.”

Top­ics cov­ered in­clude stop, drop and roll, ex­plain­ing to dial 911 for emer­gen­cies, sleep­ing with your door shut to “keep the bad stuff out,” don’t play with matches and lighters and other safety mes­sages.

“We en­joy meet­ing the kids and es­pe­cially hav­ing lunch with them, this al­lows us to talk and en­joy a time in which fam­i­lies get to­gether nor­mally,” Ziegler said.

The fire­fight­ers spent the re­cess time on the play­ground where the stu­dents saw the fire ap­pa­ra­tus and some of the tools. The fire­fight­ers also gave stu­dents a prize for stop­ping to see them. Ziegler said this year the pen­cils and trad­ing cards were “a hit.”

Bat­tal­ion Chief Robert Years­ley said he loves do­ing the fire preven­tion pro­gram at Kings High­way be­cause “you can see the kids light up when we get there.”

Ziegler noted that by do­ing this pro­gram the chil­dren learn about fire safety and that the “fire­fight­ers are there to help when they are hav­ing a bad day.”

Visit Daily Lo­cal News staff writer Ginger Rae Dun­bar’s blog about jour­nal­ism and vol­un­teer­ing as a fire­fighter at Fire­fight­erGinger.blogspot.com.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS — COATESVILLE AREA SCHOOL DIS­TRICT

Wagontown Fire Com­pany of­fice sec­re­tary Kelly Stauf­fer in­ter­acts with the stu­dents as they look over the ap­pa­ra­tus.

Pic­tured are: Naomi Lawrence, Kay­den Oliver, Wagontown fire­fighter Barry Flinn, Kevin Smith and Jes­sica Wolf.

Wagontown Fire Chief Todd Ziegler speaks to Kings High­way Ele­men­tary School stu­dents. The pre­sen­ta­tion is based on the “Learn not to Burn” pro­gram ini­ti­ated by the Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion.

Wagontown Fire Com­pany fire­fight­ers handed prizes to stu­dents who vis­ited them dur­ing re­cess af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion.

Stu­dents look at the Mal­tese cross on the ap­pa­ra­tus, a sym­bol of the fire ser­vice.

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