Fire Prevention

OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH The Danville Fire and Rescue Department prides itself on bringing an exciting and interactive day of fire prevention activities to the students of Danville Elementary School. Coming soon will be photos of Danville Elementary students engaged in fire prevention activities, experiencing low visibility conditions in the 'smoke' trailer, exploring the fire department apparatus, and links to educational fire prevention web sites.



Firefighters turn teachers for day

By Christine Dube

DANVILLE - Last week was Fire Safety Week, and Danville Elementary School was swarming with the town’s fire department personnel, who came to teach the children what to do, and what not to do, in case of a fire.

Fire Chief Steve Woitkin’s first order of business was to see how well the children were performing during a fire drill. As the fire personnel watched, the alarm was sounded and the drill began.

"I’d like to commend you on your fire drill," Woitkin told the children later. "You did a wonderful job."

The drill was followed by a 45-minute assembly. Three young members of the fire department took on the task of presenting some fire safety rules to the children: Corey Ward, Tim Griswold and Matt Goss.

Ward was impressed time and again with the children’s knowledge on the subject of fire safety.

"What’s this?" he asked the younger group, holding up a round, flat, white disk. "It’s a fire detector," answered first-grader Derrek Perreault.

"Ever hear that when mom or dad is cooking?" joked Ward, sending the children into a fit of laughter. For those who hadn’t heard the smoke detector go off before, he demonstrated it.

"What do you do when it goes off?" Ward asked. The children knew the answer was to get out of the house.

"It’s also important to have a meeting place, like you did today during your fire drill. Does anyone have a meeting place?" asked Ward. The show of hands was numerous, with answers ranging from out by the street, in the back yard, or next to the big tree.

Ward discussed prevention, such as staying away from matches and lighters, what to do if there is a lot of smoke, what to do if a doorway is blocked and more before his fellow firefighters began putting on their gear so the children could see what they would look like if they ever came to their house for a fire.

After putting on their fire pants, Ward said, "Why do firefighters wear these red suspenders under their coat? To keep their pants up!"

After donning pants, coats, boots, helmets, air tanks and gloves, Griswold and Goss ventured out into the crowd so the children could see and hear what firefighters look and sound like when they enter a burning building.

"They have a thing on their uniform that if they get bonked on the head and don’t move, it goes off and other firefighters can come and save them," said second-grader Daniel Main.

After the assembly, the firefighters opened their tanker and ambulance during recess for the children to see. Some of the firefighters sat in the cafeteria and ate lunch with the students.

Principal Peg Ralph told the children how fortunate the school was to have the fire department present when they practiced their fire drill.

"The important thing is to always listen to the fire chief and the police chief and other people in the community. They are here to keep you safe."