(by guest contributor, Jamaal Abdul-Alim; photos by Hadiyah Abdul-Alim)
The firefighters of Engine Company No. 4 delivered a few lessons in fire safety this weekend to roughly two dozen children at the Park View Recreational Center.
Firefighter Tony Kelleher helped children use the fire hose (Photo by Hadiyah Abdul-Alim)
Some of those lessons were hands-on. The children got a chance to peer inside a fire truck, spray a water hose on the sidewalk and touch the protective gear of a firefighter after he demonstrated how to put it on.
The up close encounters were meant to get the children familiar with firefighters and what they do so that in the event of an actual fire the children won’t run and hide from the firefighters, who might look and sound scary in their oxygen masks and bulky protective gear but are there to rescue anyone who may be trapped in a burning building.
To drive home this point, DCFD wagon driver Tony Kellher had firefighter Ian O’Byrne put on his firefighter gear and asked the children to say his name — Firefighter Ian — throughout the process so that the children remember that underneath the mask and all the gear it’s still Firefighter Ian.
“Who is this?” Kellerher repeatedly asked the youths as they sat in the shade on Princeton Place.
Firefighter Ian O'Byrne in his firefighter gear (Photo by Hadiyah Abdul-Alim)
“Firefighter Ian,” the children would all yell in response.
Inside the small recreation center building on Princeton Place, DCFD Public Educator Patricia Everett instructed the children on what to do in an actual fire.
For instance, she said, children should crawl on the floor beneath the thickness of the smoke in order to get out of a burning structure because that’s where the breathable air will be. (more…)