APW Elementary School Observes Fire Prevention Week

Three area fire departments visited the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Elementary School on October 12 to celebrate fire prevention week, October 7 – 14.

Crews from Parish, Williamstown and Altmar fire companies brought equipment to the school including vehicles and turnout gear for their fire safety and prevention presentations.

Parish firefighter and EMT Ben Tousant, crawled into the fire prevention assembly in full gear carrying a body heat sensing device that enables firefighters to find people in a smoke-filled or burning building. The demonstration showed the elementary students that they need not be afraid of a fireman, even though he or she may look scary at first, they are friends and helpers. Altmar firefight Dan Collins and Tousant presented fire safety and prevention tips during the assemblies while fellow firefighters manned the equipment outside for the second portion of the school-wide assemblies.

The students were gathered in the gymnasium for three separate grade level assemblies where they were greeted by Dan Collins (Altmar) and Ben Tousant (Parish) who crawled into the room in full turnout gear carrying a body heat sensing device that fire fighters use to locate persons in a burning or smoke-filled building.

The demonstration was used to teach the students that a firefighter in the gear may look frightening at first, but that they are using equipment to keep them safe from fire and smoke.

Collins called on students to demonstrate what they would do if their clothes were on fire. The students were quick to “stop, drop, and roll” – covering their face with their hands to help protect their face from flames as they rolled.

The firemen asked students to raise their hands if they had a designated meeting space outside of their home in the event of a fire so it could be determined if everyone was able to get out of their burning house.

Following the assemblies, classes filed outside for the vehicle demonstration portion of the fire prevention week activities at APW Elementary School. Pictured are members of the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department: Anna Kolodziejczyk, Jessie Babcock, and Thomas Oederkirk, Jr. as they talk to students about the duties of a volunteer firefighter.

Some students raised their hands, but Collins urged all students to talk to their parents about making a specific place away from the house as their meeting spot.

He suggested places such as a dog house, a specific tree or other spot that would allow everyone to be safely away from the house but close enough to allow them to reach it quickly.

He also asked the students to remind their parents to change their smoke alarm batteries and to test their smoke alarms to ensure they were working properly.

Following the assembly, classes went outside where representatives from Parish and Williamstown fire departments brought vehicles from their companies to show students and to answer questions about being a firefighter.