Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stop, Drop, and Roll

About a week ago we had our mandatory fire safety orientation with the base's fire chief.

She came in and went over a bunch of fire safety procedures, showing us how to test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, showing us where the breakers are, handing out some brochures and fridge magnets, etc.

Hunter, who was watching and listening (and being a bit too talkative during the demonstrations) offered his advice when she inquired what he would do if there was a fire in the house.

"Get water." he says.

We both laughed but, not exactly the answer she was looking for.

Next he offered, "I would hide in the closet."

Great I'm thinking. Can you tell that this is perhaps an area Mommy hasn't really taught yet?

But no, it gets better. Next he says he would jump out the window. (I think this kid has seen too many movies). At least, though, that is a possibility in a dire situation. I'll give him that.

I could tell I had my hands full.

Thankfully, though, this week just happened to be Fire Prevention Week, in honor of the great Chicago fire on October 8th of 1871. And there just happened to be a Fire Safety open house at the base fire station tonight. How convenient is that?

I have been wanting to take him on a field trip to a fire station for forever, so this was the perfect little coincidence (and wake up call).

It was really cool how they set up the open house. When you got there, you were given a little card with six little pictures representing the different activities to do. After you did each activity, you got your card stamped, and once your whole card was done, you turned it in for a bag full of goodies (a bunch of fire-safety themed toys - comic book, magnet, plastic cup, pencil, bracelet, ruler, fire hat... I forget what else). These are the activities he did:

Exhibit 1: Stop, drop, cover your face and roll activity (picture above)
A fireman demonstrated to the kids what to do if your clothes catch on fire, and explained why. They stuck a felt "fire" on the kids and let them practice.

Exhibit 2: Put out the fire
This was just for fun. There was a little wooden house frame they had built that had hinged "fires" in each window. The goal: "put out" the fires by knocking them down with the power hose.

Exhibit 3: Bucket brigade
They had this fun activity to demonstrate how fires were put out before the invention of the fire hose: a long, long line of lots of helpers passing buckets down the line until the fire was gone.

Exhibit 5: Fireman's hose
He got to try out a real fire hose (with some help). Boy are those things powerful! And they didn't even have it on full blast.

Exhibit 6: Dress up
He got to try on the fire suit, talked about how it protects them from the flames, talked about the purpose of the reflective gear, the helmet, etc. He also got to see how they store the suits so they can put them on really fast when the alarm goes off.

Exhibit 7: Smoke house
This was probably the best. They went inside the smoke house (trailer) and talked about what to do in a smoking building. They practiced crawling under the smoke, how to feel a door to see if it's hot (and, if so, do not open it), how to wave a cloth or similar item outside a window to signal for help, and how to properly climb out of a window ladder.

He also got to: check out the inside of a fire truck; get a good look at the inside of an the engine; watch the extendable ladder being raised; watch an actual fire being put out and how to properly use a fire extinguisher; get his picture taken with Sparky the fire dog; check out the fire station; eat cookies and lemonade; and more!

What a fun, incredible evening we had!

And, on top of all the fun, it is nice to know that he is a bit more fire safe now. (And, by the way, on the way home he told me that if there was a fire in the house, he would "run out as fast as I can" and "call the fireman".) Our "meeting place" is at the mailbox, which is a couple houses down. And we're talking about when and how to call 911. Should he ever need to.

"Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine." 
Job 18:5

Hunter is 4 years, 6 months old

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