Learning Not To Burn

Kindergarten through second grade students at Warren Area Elementary Center learned about fire safety Wednesday afternoon with local firefighters.

The Warren County COG Central District Fire Department Partners comprised of Starbrick, Pleasant, Clarendon, Glade and North Warren volunteer fire departments plus the Warren City Fire Department visited WAEC students to kick off National Fire Prevention Week, which begins Oct. 6 and runs through Oct. 12.

All six departments contributed to the development of the program and to discuss this year’s theme of “Prevent Kitchen Fires” at WAEC and Allegheny Valley Elementary School.

Kindergarten students learned about stop, drop and roll; first graders reviewed exit drills in the home and general fire safety; and second graders reviewed how to call 911.

“This is the first year we’ve done it here,” said Joe Beardsley with the Warren City Fire Department. “Each class is running about 40 minutes to an hour…we have guys dressing up in the turn-out gear so they are not afraid when they show up to their house.”

First graders in Barb Zawacki’s and Angela McGraw’s first-grade classes watched a fire safety video, played toy box fire safety, and talked about a home fire escape plan.

“But what if your meeting place is on fire?” asked a first grader.

“That’s a good question,” said Beardsley.

“You want the meeting place far away from your house so if the house is on fire, you’re not in danger. That’s a good question,” said John Riggle of the North Warren VFD.

Chris Riggle with the North Warren VFD then put on his gear to show the students what a firefighter in full gear looks like.

“We all banded together and decided this was a good project to start with for public awareness and help the kids out especially,” said John Riggle. “It’s gratifying to meet somebody that you did fire safety for 25 years ago say, ‘You came to the day care.’ There are kids that walk up to me and say that.”