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Firefighters teach fire safety

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POLSON — Polson Fire Department firefighter Tanner Hayes, in full turnouts, crawled along, laden with air tanks and wearing a mask, unable to turn his head because of all his equipment. 

Children were jumping, waving their arms, hollering, patting Hayes and sticking their heads in front of him. 

While the enactment was fun for kids at Linderman Elementary School, it also served to teach them about fire safety. 

PFD firefighters Julie Sisler, Matt Sisler and Hayes brought a fire engine to local schools and preschools during National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5–11 to talk to children about fire safety.

Facing the group of second graders on Oct. 9, Julie asked them to find all the smoke detectors in their house, make sure there are smoke detectors in every bedroom, the kitchen and in the laundry room. 

“What do we know about smoke?” Julie asked.

Kids called out answers, coaxed along by Julie. 

“It can kill you.” 

“Smoke goes up.”

“Where should you be if the smoke is up by the ceiling?” Julie asked. 

On the floor was the consensus.

Julie explained to kids what to do if the door to their room is hot, what to do if it’s cool, how to exit through a window and how to throw toys and blankets out of a window if they’re on the second floor so the fire chief will know where to locate them. 

After a tour in and around the fire truck, students headed back to class, commenting on the number of buttons in the truck, the seats and the dark back window.

“It’s much smaller than the older ones,” observed second-grader Jaden Westphal.

Fourth graders in Mrs. Ayers’ class, who had been to Julie’s presentation earlier, had facts about smoke alarms, too.

“Smoke alarms break every ten years,” Lucas Torgison said. 

Ava Dalby said, “You have to check them once a month.”

For homework, Linderman students were instructed to locate all smoke detectors in their house and to make a plan with their parents as to where they should meet outside their house in the event of a fire.

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