Published Sunday, February 10, 2013
Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
Local firefighters recently visited The Heritage School to demonstrate equipment and deliver safety tips to young students.
Practicing Stop, Drop and Roll was part of the students’ assignment, and they were able to feel the weight of a fireman’s flame-proof jacket as well. Firefighters asked the children to pretend their clothes were on fire and needed extinguishing quickly, making a point of having them cover their faces to protect from imaginary flames.
The visiting firemen allowed students to compare their heavy protective gear to their own clothing, telling the children that the fireproof fabric is key to firefighters’ survival. Pants and coats are made of heavy, treated fabric and boots, helmets and oxygen tanks add to the weight of the gear. Most firemen are outweighed by their gear, the firefighters said.
Students explored a fire engine, with firefighters pointing out the hose connections, tools for getting into locked homes, water storage tank, sirens and lights. The children were able to touch the equipment and ask question about the gauges and ladders.
Firefighters stressed to the children that if they are ever in a burning home or building, they need to stay in the open and not hide. They told stories about children hiding in toy boxes and under beds, making it more difficult for the rescuers to find them. They also told the class that firefighters would get their pets out safely and that the children should never go back inside a burning house to look for a pet.