Hazelwood Firefighters Make School Visits For Fire Prevention Week

Hazelwood firefighters Ted Naughton and Joey Kohnen ask a group of 4th and 5th graders at Russell Elementary School if they see any fire hazards in the room. These classroom visits were part of the Hazelwood Fire Department’s National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13.

The Hazelwood City Council recently issued a proclamation declaring the week of October 7-14 as “Fire Prevention Week” in the City of Hazelwood.  Local firefighters visited several daycare centers, preschools, and elementary schools to help promote this year’s theme of “Have 2 Ways Out!” which focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

Hazelwood Firefighters Show Off Their Newest Fire Truck to School Children – In addition to going through the Safety Clubhouse, younger students at Russell Elementary School got to look at the Ccty’s newest fire truck. Some of them even got to sit in the seats used by firefighters when they answer Emergency 911 calls. These school visited are a part of the Hazelwood Fire Department’s plans for National Fire Prevention Week,

“Our goal this year is to teach children, preschool through 6th grade, about the importance of helping their parents put together a fire escape plan that has two ways of getting out alive,” said Battalion Chief (BC) Randy Getz, HFD’s public information officer.  “When the smoke alarm sounds, family members need to be prepared to think fast and get out quickly.  And it’s important for them to know another way out in case the first escape route is blocked.  The skill in doing this improves by practicing it over and over again.”

BC Getz points out that people feel safer when they’re at home. Unfortunately, most fires occur at home. The best way to make sure everyone survives this ordeal is for them to know exactly what they need to do to escape and find their way to safety.  “For the younger kids, we teach them the ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll’ method in case their clothing catches on fire and we’re going to be showing them a video on the importance of escape planning,” Getz added.

For school visits, Hazelwood firefighters often bring their Safety Clubhouse with a fire truck equipped with aerial apparatus.   The clubhouse is actually a small replica of a house with a living room, kitchen, and bedroom which is handicapped accessible.  Small groups of children are guided through this trailer and shown how to avoid fire hazards.  When they get to the top floor in the bedroom area, light non-toxic “smoke” is released to simulate a fire and the kids are taught to “Get Low and Go” by crawling to safety on their hands and knees.  Firefighters then greet them in the patio area and help them down the ladder.

For the older students, Hazelwood firefighters present a “House of Hazards” classroom demonstration. Students are asked to identify the fire hazards that exist in each room. The firefighters then show them how to get rid of the hazards and make the rooms safe again.  The importance of installing smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and CO2 monitors throughout the house is explained as well.

Anyone interested in the program on fire safety can call (314) 731-3424.


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