School poster contest emphasizes fire safety
DEERING — It’s never too early to learn about fire safety. Just ask 5-year-old Abigail Nichols.
Abigail knows she needs to have two ways out of a burning house, to call 911 and to stop, drop and roll if her clothes catch fire.
Thursday, the Coal Grove and Upper Township volunteer fire departments, with the help of some student volunteers, showed the children at Dawson-Bryant Elementary School the basics of fire safety.
Abigail and classmate Raegan McDaniel demonstrated the stop, drop and roll maneuver. Bryson Hackworth showed his fellow students how to “stay low and go” by crawling through a simulated smoky house.
Coal Grove FVD Captain Jay Sherman talked to the school about the importance of smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and showed the students what firefighters look like in their uniforms.
Perry Township firefighters were also at the school this week to take students through the mobile smokehouse.
Since October is fire prevention month, the Coal Grove fire department sponsored a poster contest and bicycle giveaway. A student from each grade level won a brand new bike thanks to donations from Coal Grove fire chief Gary Sherman, Lawrence County Commissioner Les Boggs, Rent To Own and Mary Ann Kenny from L&J.
Winners were Marlee Malone, kindergarten; Channing Frecka, first grade; Kami Savino, second grade; Brody Willis, third grade; Isaiah McMillian, fourth grade; and Patrick Kearns, fifth grade.
The Coal Grove and Upper Township fire departments are also gearing up for their fifth annual Safety Day on Oct. 13.
A parade at 10 a.m. will kick off the event. The parade will include fire apparatus from several area departments, law enforcement, forestry and area emergency medical departments.
During the day, there will be a live demonstration of proper use of a fire extinguisher in the home and a vivid demonstration of why not to text and drive. There will also be a mock crash and rescue in real time with fire and emergency personnel utilizing the actual tools used on accident scenes.
Firefighters will compete in a competition for bragging rights. In the firefighter’s challenge, participants will race to see who can suit up in full gear the fastest.
The winner will have his name written on the coveted trophy helmet that is kept at that fire department’s station for a year.
Upper Township chief J.D. Pancake said his department currently has the helmet and plans on keeping it after this year’s event.
“It’s going to stay at my station.” Pancake said.
There will also be activities for children including leaning to stop, drop and roll and “know two ways out.” Children will also be able to participate in the Kid’s Firefighter Challenge and Obstacle Course. The event includes pulling a victim to safety and hooking a hose to a hydrant and spraying water on a pretend house fire.
There will be free food and drinks as well as door prizes and free smoke alarms to those who need them.