Makayla Tidwell, 4, races Nick Wolfe, 16, of Genoa in a Penta program for Fire Prevention Week. Preschoolers were learning the importance of crawling to get out of a building filled with smoke.
Four-year-old Charli Garibaldo practiced staying below a fire’s smoke line, learned “Stop, drop, and roll,” and made an escape plan for fleeing her home in the event of fire during a Penta Career Center program Thursday offering fire-prevention tips to preschoolers.
The training tips were led by high school students in Penta’s Public Safety/EMT-Fire Science program as a part of Fire Safety Week. All of the preschoolers went through the program during several sessions throughout the day.
PHOTO GALLERY: Penta fire-prevention tips
High school students had several stations set up for the younger children, including making a song and dance to remember “Stop, drop, and roll,” which is what anyone whose clothes catch fire is supposed to do to snuff the flames.
Other workshops included drawing out escape-plan maps of their houses, fire gear demonstrations, and how to stay below the smoke when fleeing a burning building.
“We’re trying to stress the importance of what to do during a fire,” said Kayla Bowden, 17, a senior from Maumee. “We tell them it is OK to be scared, but also how to handle the situation.”
Jake Bloomer, a Penta senior from Rossford, demonstrated putting on firefighting gear to the preschoolers. He put his mask on and spoke so the children would hear how that changed the sound of his voice.
Charli wasn’t frightened: “I like that,” she said. “I’m not even scared of monsters.”
Sparky, the mascot and fire safety dog from Perrysburg Township Fire Department, was also there helping students with the stations and getting them to the classroom.
Township firefighter Keith Feeney said fire safety isn’t just a week for him, it is a 365-day-a-year job.
“There are still too many people dying from residential fires,” he said. “We have to get in touch with people and hopefully save somebody.”
Mr. Feeney also called the project great for the high school students to teach the children and get experience working with the public.
“We’re trying to prevent anything from happening to them,” Miss Bowden said. “It gets them prepared for an actual situation so they know how to act if something does happen.”