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SWBOCES students at the Rye Lake Campus learned how to use a fire hose, sat in a fire engine’s jump seat and watched a firefighter don all her gear when firefighters from the North Castle South Fire District No. 1 visited in early November.
With assistance from several firefighters, children put on work gloves and sprayed water from the hose for a few seconds. They climbed through the section of the truck where firefighters sit. One student was enjoying himself so much that he didn’t want to get out of the seat and let the next person inside. Other students were so excited about the visit that they were jumping up and down and clapping.
“Every student in our program was fully engaged and thrilled to take part in the Fire Safety assembly,” said Principal Allison Emig, who took her turn spraying the fire hose and climbed part-way up the fire engine ladder. “Our goal was to have the students become familiar with the firemen and desensitize the students so they are not fearful. We thank the North Castle South Fire District for spending time with our students and teaching them the importance of fire safety.”
Fire Chief Andrew Seicol spoke to students in the Decagon as one of his fellow volunteer firefighters -- Liz Markiewicz -- put on her turnout gear, including her boots, gloves, oxygen tank, protective hood and helmet. She moved around the room and gave children high-fives.
“If she comes into your house and yells ‘Fire department, fire department. I’m here to help!’ are you going to run away?” the chief asked. “No because she’s there to help.”
He also spoke with children about what number to call in a fire, police or medical emergency. “It’s very important that we only call 911 for a real emergency,” he said. “So if your house is on fire, we’re going to call 911. If your brother or sister is pushing you, we’re not going to call 911.”
Members of the fire department gave out red plastic firefighter hats to all the younger children and posed for photos in front of the fire truck.