Kids Add Fire Safety To Their Lessons - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/07/03

Kids Add Fire Safety To Their Lessons

The kindergartners' fire safety lesson began with a question from volunteer firefighter James Barnett.

"What is the magic number to dial in an emergency?" he asked.

The kids screamed back, "9-11." The kids pass lesson one.

Next comes what to do in a real fire.

"We try to explain to them, never go back in. We try to let them know that the fire will burn them if they try to stay in, that they need to come out," Saucier VFD Chief Mareanda Weems says.

That's what a makeshift obstacle course shows them. The kids start off running through tires, they stop, drop and roll, and they crawl through a tunnel and out a window.

"The tunnel that we have is showing how it's black inside, it's smokey, you gotta stay down very low and crawl through. Then the window is to come out. You're out of the window, you know you're not comin' back in."

Every student at Saucier Elementary went through the course. The firefighters say kids are never too young to learn that fire can be friend or foe.

"We even did 6th graders this time to refresh them. They actually remember what we taught them in kindergarten. They actually reminded us of different things that we maybe forgot to remind them."

Weems says Monday's fatal fire in Yazoo City that killed five children left alone is a grim reminder of why these kids need to know what to do.

"It's like the children that died up there. It's hard to explain why they were left there. These kids up here, we're trying to teach them how to get out."

byMarcia Hill

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