HAVELOCK, N.C.- --
Members of the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Fire
and Emergency Services Department held fire safety classes during an
educational visit to W. J. Gurganus Elementary School in Havelock, Oct. 22.
Emergency service providers went to the elementary school to
reach out to the children about the importance of fire safety and prevention at
home and at school.
“October is National Fire Prevention month and fire
departments across the country are getting out of their stations and into
schools to educate children about the importance of fire safety,” said Brandee Ridgway,
an air station fire inspector. “The Cherry Point Fire Department assists the
city of Havelock with fire prevention education in the local schools through
events like this. We feel that fire safety is a vital aspect of the education of
the youth in our community.”
The children were exposed to numerous interactive activities
and videos provided by the firefighters that taught them the basics of fire
safety and provided them with simple procedures they can follow to safely escape
from a dangerous fire.
“We teach the children procedures like ‘stop, drop and roll,’
safe ways to exit burning buildings, how to properly call a 911 dispatcher and
numerous other fire prevention routines they can practice on their own,”
explained Ridgway. “They also see the firefighters put on in their gear and get
the opportunity to try some of it on themselves. The interactions allow the
children to be less frightened of the gear and get familiarized with what
emergency services would look like through the chaos of an emergency.”
The school encourages its students to practice safe habits
and integrates many safety tips into its curriculum, explained Paul Schwab, the
assistant principal. Having the fire department come to the school gives the
students a more hands-on interaction with the procedures they learn. And, the
school visit provides resources for both school officials and students to learn
and share with their families.
“I want to see the students learn the true function of the
fire department,” explained Schwab. “If there is an emergency, they should not
be fearful for themselves because they know that the firefighters they met
today will be there to save them. The goal is for the students to take those
safety tips home with them and help prevent dangerous situations.”
You never know when a fire is going to happen to you or
someone you care for, said Ridgway. Helping the community prepare for an
unforeseen event such as a fire in their home can make people more aware of
what they can do in their everyday lives to prevent such a tragedy.
For further information regarding fire safety at home or at
work, stop by the Cherry Point Fire Department or call the local fire
department. Those located on base can call (252) 466-5607 and speak to a fire
inspector during the week, or (252) 466-3000 on weekends.