Ann Bachert explained the gauge controls of the water system on the fire-rescue truck from Towamensing Fire Company. It was the compartment the students from Towamensing Elementary School took the most interest in during Fire Prevention Day Oct. 11.
Each compartment holds a different set of supplies and equipment is carefully kept where it belongs so in an emergency every fireman or junior fireman knows just where to go.
"We are here as an education committee on fire safety through the children," said Assistant Chief Ryan Snyder.
Chief Wayne Knirnschild said he hopes all parents have a working smoke alarm and a place to meet outside. He said by having a place for all members of a family to meet firemen will not be endangering themselves by looking for a person who went to another location. He said students enjoy the firemen's visit which has an indoor program before they go outside to see the trucks.
As the firemen came into the room teacher Ali Spalding said, "Our firefighting friends are coming in. The class sang, "Chicki, chicki, boom, boom. We are glad to have you here."
Austin Lesko asked what their class remembered from last year. The replies were that smoke alarms should be tested and to stop, drop and roll if clothes are on fire.
Colton Shoemaker set a smoke alarm off. Lesko asked if they were frightened and would hide under the bed. They agreed they would try to get out without grabbing their favorite things. Don't try to wake up anybody else because they may already be out of the house, although if your parents are next door you might have time for a quick look. Cats and dogs sense a fire and will try to save themselves.
Don't grab a door handle. Feel if the door is hot using the back of your hand, if so, go to a window and scream for help. If the door is cool you can open it.
What do you call 911 for the class was asked?: emergency-yes, fire-yes, accident-yes, pizza-no, river flooding-yes. Know your address and the phone you are calling from. Carbon County 911 will want you on the phone till help arrives if it can be done safely.
What do you do if your clothes catch fire? This is where the Stop, Drop and Roll comes in.
What happens with a campfire? Smoke goes up, so you want to stay near the floor. As a fireman crept into the room near the floor, a student commented that his breathing through the apparatus was loud. Firemen use Scott air tanks for breathing near a fire. "We do training in a dark area because that is how a fire is," said Lesko.
After leaving the building meet at a big tree or other designated location. "The first thing we do is be sure everyone is out," Lesko said.
A first grader asked how soon he could be a fireman. Lesko said in about 10 years he can join the company as a junior firefighter.
Outside, Chris Corcoran explained that a tire for the truck costs $500. Trisha Green's p.m. kindergarten was watching the truck demonstration.
Corcoran said the passenger says where to go. The driver just drives.
He said there was even a compartment for the firefighters to change into their heavy, protective clothing.
Each child received a packet with a ruler, pencil, activity book and a fire hat. The different grades get age-suitable items.