DuBOIS — Sandy Township volunteer firefighter Zack Priddy put on his protective gear while meeting with students at DuBois Central Catholic on Wednesday to talk about fire safety and prevention.
Firefighter Eric Tinker held up a fire alarm and asked the students if they knew what it was. They all nodded yes.
“So what do you do at your house when that sound goes off?”
“You get out!” one student shouted.
“When you get out of your house during a fire, do you ever go back inside?” Tinker said.
The students all said in unison, “No!”
“When you go home today, I want you to talk to your parents about smoke detectors,” Tinker said. “You should have one on every level, inside and outside of every room. And I want you to ask your parents to show you where all the smoke detectors are.”
He urged the children to talk about a meeting place with their parents if they don’t already have one.
“Do you know why it’s important to have a meeting place?” Tinker said. “It’s so everybody can get there safely, so when we show up we know if there’s anybody still inside or not. If everybody’s in one spot, we know nobody’s still in the house and we don’t have to worry about trying to go in and save somebody. If we don’t know if you’re in there or not, we’re going to come in and try looking for you.”
Tinker also told the children that if they are inside their house and cannot get out, not to hide under a bed or in a closet.
“We need to be able to find you easily,” Tinker said.
Next, Priddy donned all of his gear and showed the students what it looks like whenever he’s coming to their house to try to find them in case of a fire.
“Big heavy boots and pants keep his legs and his clothes from burning... like a big pair of snow pants,” Tanker said.
He also asked the students if they knew about “Stop, Drop and Roll.”
“If your clothes are on fire, what’s the first thing you do?”
The students replied, “Stop, Drop and Roll.”
When Priddy was done putting on his gear, Tinker pointed out the air tank on his back.
“That’s so you can breathe whenever you go inside of a fire. It gives you nice, clean air. He wears it all in a backpack,” Tinker said. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. He might not look like what we do right now, but once he gets all that on, it’s so he’s completely protected.”
“If you ever see him coming into your room or into your house looking for somebody, you need to reach out, yell for him. Grab him. Get his attention, because it’s real hard to see whenever we’re inside a fire. We got to be able to rely on feel and on sound,” Tinker said.
The students were most excited when they got to go outside and see the firetruck to conclude the event.
Other firefighters in attendance were Brian Hubbard, Chris Runyon and Mark Siple. Fire Prevention Week kicked off Sunday and continues through Saturday.