Cassville children learn fire safety

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Travis Littler, right, a firefighter with the Cassville Fire Protection District, puts on his bunker gear Friday morning as Capt. Derek Acheson, left, talks to Stephanie Marple's pre-k class in the Cassville Middle School gym. The district taught fire safety last week to local children. Jason Johnston

Fire Prevention Week time to educate youth

The Cassville Fire Protection District taught fire safety to local children as a part of National Fire Prevention Week last week.

"It's important that kids know fire safety," said Millard Andrews, fire chief. "We try to teach the kids to have an escape plan at home in case there is a fire, to get out of the house, have a location to go to and wait to make sure that everybody is out of the house. We instruct them to not go back in for anything."

The district also told the children not to play with matches or fire.

"We show them what a firefighter looks like whenever he's fully decked out in bunker gear and has a SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) on," Andrews said. "We show the kids that, so they won't be scared if somebody comes in for a rescue. They see that person. They know that they are in there to help them."

The firefighters described a smoke alarm and what the children must do if they hear it go off.

The district gave fire safety packets to the children that they can read and color, Andrews said.

On Oct. 8, the firefighters visited Sonbeam Preschool. On Thursday, the district taught fire safety at God's Little Kingdom Preschool, Lil Bits Daycare, Sonbeam Preschool, Cassville Head Start and Sandy's Daycare. On Friday, they talked with pre-K to second graders in the Cassville Middle School gym.

National Fire Prevention Week, which was from Oct. 5 to Saturday, was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation. Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been on the seven-day period that includes October 9. This year's theme was "Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month."

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