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Readers' Views: When firefighters become teachers

Posted 10/16/12

Editor: The week of Oct. 7-13 was National Fire Prevention Week. In the Lower Dauphin School District, this means that our local volunteer fire companies visited our elementary schools to help educate our youngsters about fire safety.

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Readers' Views: When firefighters become teachers


We are very lucky to have such dedicated volunteers in our communities. I have had the opportunity to meet several of the firefighters who come into our schools at this time of year and I have always been impressed with their enthusiasm and professionalism.

We can teach students in our schools how to “stop, drop and roll,” but hearing that message from a firefighter in his or her turnout gear makes a much more lasting impression. It is also a real “learning moment” when the kids can come up and touch the firefighters, try on their coats and get an up-close look at a fire engine or tanker.

Efforts like this instill in our students the sense that education is a community effort.

You can do your part to help us teach your children by talking about fire prevention. Since this year’s fire prevention week theme was “Have Two Ways Out!” which emphasizes the importance of fire escape planning and practice, I urge you to follow a few of the simple steps recommended by our local firefighters for planning your family’s escape:

• Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.

• Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.

• Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.

• Sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.

• Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the members of the fire companies who service our school district community for their dedication and commitment to public safety. Their support of our schools is an inspiration to me and our staff.

                                          Sherri L. Smith
                                          Lower Dauphin School District