Firefighter Tom Fitzgerald and his colleague, Rob, came and spent some time with our elementary school children to demystify the fear of a firefighter in full gear. The program began with Tom talking to the children and explaining what a firefighter does and what kind of gear they wear and why. As he spoke, he continually added gear to his pal, Rob, constantly reminding the kids that Rob was still the same guy just in different clothing.By the end of Tom’s talk, Rob was in full gear complete with an oxygen tank and a mask.
After the talk, the students had an opportunity to ask the firemen questions. “What would happen if my house burned down to the ground and there was nowhere else to live?” one young girl asked. “We would call the Red Cross,” Tom answered. The children were also interested in knowing about the Jaws of Life – which Tom had mentioned they would see – and about whether or not firefighters help animals. “Would you come help a moose if it got hit by a car?” A student asked. “Yes, we help animals,” Tom said.
After a brief talk about when to call 911 and when not to, the difference between brush and house fires, and the various things firefighters respond to, the kids were led outside to explore the fire truck. They saw the Jaws of Life as promised, sat in the fire truck seats and did a walk-through of all of the equipment on the truck. “The goal of this yearly program is to take away some of the fear,” Director of Education Cindy Wing said. April is fire awareness month at Perkins, and Perkins staff and students would like to thank the Lancaster Fire Department for sharing their resources with us.