Return to Headlines

Local Fire Departments Visit Elementary Schools for Fire Prevention Week

“Plan 2 Ways Out.”

That was the theme across the country for National Fire Prevention Week, which this year, took place during the week of October 8. It was also the message stressed by members of the Whitesboro, Yorkville, New York Mills and Oriskany Volunteer Fire Departments to Whitesboro’s elementary students.

The fire prevention and public education teams from the departments visited Westmoreland Road and Hart’s Hill Elementary Schools on October 13. Together, they spent about two hours at each school, stressing the importance of fire safety.  Fire Prevention Week

Their presentation to the students varied based on grade level. Kindergarten and first grade students watched a puppet show focusing on fire drills, reporting fires and crawling low in smoke, second grade students participated in a “Firefighter Friendly,” specially designed to make students feel comfortable and safe around firefighters, third grade students participated in a “Firefighter Fitness Challenge” and watched a video, fourth grade students received a lesson on kitchen safety and fifth grade students toured a fire safety trailer, a replica house that fills with artificial smoke to display, firsthand, the importance of crawling low in the event of a fire. Some students also got to see a real dalmatian.

“This year’s theme is so important,” said Brian McQueen, fire prevention coordinator at the Whitesboro Volunteer Fire Department. “It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan and practice it.”

Specifically, the theme “Plan 2 Ways Out” stresses the following:

·         Draw a map of your home using a grid with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

·         Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.

·         Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.

·         Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

·         Close doors behind you as you leave - - this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

·         Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

After each presentation, students could also view fire apparatus outside.

Both Westmoreland Road and Hart’s Hill Elementary Schools would like to thank all of the local volunteer firefighters for their time, dedication and valuable lessons!

To view a photo gallery from Westmoreland Road Elementary School, click here.

To view a photo gallery from Hart's Hill Elementary School, click here.