October 14 – Young, eager students are learning how to stay safe during a fire this week thanks to fun visits to the Decatur Fire Department.
It’s National Fire Prevention Week and the Decatur Fire Department is welcoming young students to Fire Station 1 to learn about how they can be safe. This week’s campaign is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” Fire Marshal Lyle Meador says it’s important they remind kids early in their life.
“We call it “edutainment” because we are trying to educate them while entertaining them,” Meador says. “A lot of these drills are hands-on and we are repeating cool rules for the kids to remember. We are just trying to prepare them just in case they have a fire.”
Our Lady of Lourdes first graders have been learning fire safety all week in class, and they got a special treat Thursday by visiting Fire Station 1. Their teacher Mrs. Cheryl Valdahl has been accompanying classes to the fire department for almost 20 years. She says it is great to see the excitement from the kids and know they are learning at the same time.
“At this age, they are so excited to learn a lot of things,” Valdahl says. “It’s great to see the excitement on their faces and I really think they are starting to grasp the need for fire safety.”
The students experienced a puppet show (led by Meador) where they learned about fire safety tips before testing their knowledge in the Fire Safety House. The kids also got to shoot water out of one of the large hoses, with the help of a firefighter. They were then able to slide down a fire pole and also a 19-foot inflatable slide. They finished up with a magic show where they repeated the phrase to remember to check their smoke alarms.
Meador hopes they take some of what they learned back to their parents to encourage their families to check the smoke detectors regularly.
“These kids are like little sponges,” he says. “Hopefully the parents will learn as their kids do.”