PLATTEKILL – Sirens blaring and lights flashing, a caravan of emergency vehicles arrived in style at Plattekill Elementary School on October 5. The visitors showed off their life-saving equipment and helped the students learn about fire safety during National Fire Prevention Week (October 3-9).
The students learned about the different kinds of emergency vehicles as well as the firefighters’ special equipment, including helmets, hoses, oxygen tanks, self-contained breathing apparatuses, and “jaws of life” (a device that helps rescue people who are trapped inside of crashed vehicles).
They also learned about the importance of planning a home fire escape plan. “A house can be replaced,” said Anthony Carubia, a first lieutenant with the Modena Fire Department. “You have to have a plan to get out safely in the event of a fire.”
The youngsters also had the opportunity to check out the insides of a fire truck and a fire ambulance, and to pose for photos with the official mascot of the National Fire Protection Association, a spunky Dalmatian called Sparky.
After visiting with the firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), the students headed to the gymnasium, which was full of booths and learning stations set up
as part of the school’s Health and Safety Fair. The activities, which were sponsored by the PTA, included an entertaining Zumba class, a kickboxing experience, a visit from representatives of the Plattekill Public Library, and a lively game that required the players to quickly negotiate a path through rope “fire ladders” set up on the gym floor. The children could also pick up a number of treats, including fire safety-themed activity books and flying discs emblazoned with the words “Plattekill Fire Rescue.”
“It was wonderful to go back to an in-person Health and Safety Fair,” said Plattekill Principal Monica Hasbrouck, noting that an in-person event was not possible last year due to COVID-related health and safety concerns. “We started our day with a fire drill where students got to watch the fire trucks come to our school with sirens on,” she reported—an experience that led one youngster to exclaim, “That was cool!”
Both the Modena and Plattekill Fire Departments, as well as the PTA, have always been very supportive of Plattekill Elementary School, Mrs. Hasbrouck noted. “We love when Sparky visits. Our students always enjoy this day and walk away with so many free goodies!”