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Tots get lesson in fire safety

Three-year-old Jianna Savino meets Ironton Fire Department firefighter Darrell Foglesong at a fire safety demonstration at the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library Tuesday.

Big, loud trucks carrying men in heavy suits and scary facemasks can seem frightening to young children.

That’s why a group of Ironton Fire Department members introduced themselves to toddlers at a special fire safety story time Tuesday at Brigg-Lawrence County Public Library.

October is Fire Prevention Month and according to the firefighters, it’s never too early to learn about fire safety.

“You can’t be scared of me,” firefighter Mike Misner said. “We’re going to be there to get you out of a fire.”

Misner read a book to the group of toddlers and demonstrated the “stop, drop and roll” maneuver with them. He also advised the parents to work on a plan and a meeting place in the event of a fire.

Outside, firefighter Darrell Foglesong dressed in his gear for the children.

“This is what we’re going to look like when we get in a fire,” he said, letting the children touch the jacket.

One of the scariest parts of the firefighter uniform is the mask, both Misner and Foglesong said, because the breathing sounds. The cried when Foglesong put his mask on.

Captain Michael Hasenauer said fire safety demonstrations can sometimes be difficult for two and three-year-olds to understand, but beneficial nonetheless.

“At this age, we try to show them what we look like,” Hasenauer said. “It’s good to start these things early. Anything they pick up helps.”

Two-year-old Carson Medinger even came dressed for the occasion, dressed in a red fire jacket, hat and boots.

“I asked (Carson) if he wanted to wear his boots today,” Carson’s nana, Tami Rowe said. “He said, ‘All of it!’”

Jianna Savino, 3, of South Point, didn’t come dressed up, but got a treat when Misner outfitted her in real fire gear.

The children also got to walk through the fire truck, and two-year-old Austin Fraley, of Coal Grove, was all about it.

“He likes fire trucks,” Austin’s mom, Alicia, said. “He saw them at (Coal Grove) fire safety day.”

Toddler time is 11 a.m. weekly at the Ironton branch. Next week’s theme is Halloween story time and children are encouraged to come in costume.