Local fire department gives safety lesson to area students

By Shashu Wells

Special to the Star

BALDWIN — To help increase awareness of fire safety, the Webber Township Fire Department gave a presentation to Baldwin Elementary students about what to do in the event of a fire.

The firefighters were invited to the school on Nov. 24, as part of TrueNorth’s Project Focus program, an after school initiative which hopes to improves communities through a number of ways including reaching out to kids. The firefighters gave the students interesting facts and answered questions about fires, fire safety and the unique challenges of being a firefighter.

Firefighters Brandy Allen, Calvin Allen and Daniel Allen of the Webber Township Fire Department spoke to the students and brought with them a small fire truck which had equipment such as the "jaws of life." They explained how the truck was used during automobile accidents, for which the jaws of life are essential. They also brought along an example of the full firefighter suit and gear worn during a fire rescue incident.

Each piece of equipment was explained, including what functions it has and why those functions are important. Students learned the oxygen tank, for example, is necessary in a fire rescue because there is typically a lot of smoke, so each firefighter has to wear one to breathe. If the tank's oxygen level gets low, it will beep to warn the firefighters. Another unique feature of the tank they demonstrated was how if a firefighter does not move within a certain amount of time, the tank will let out a loud alarm alerting the other firefighters that of their own is either stuck or down.

The firefighters told the students what to do in the event of a fire and went through a list fire safety tips such as stop, drop, and roll, crawling below smoke and making an emergency plan ahead of time.

Lastly, to demonstrate what firefighters have to do to prepare for a fire, Daniel Allen, assisted by Calvin Allen, dressed himself in a full set of gear. The mask let out raspy gurgles with every breath, and after a while of standing still, the alarm sounded, demonstrating the features the students had learned about earlier.