BECKLEY, W.Va (WOAY) – As Fire Prevention Week continues, the Beckley Fire Department was at Stratton Elementary in Beckley on Thursday to talk to the kids about fire safety. The kids got a tour of the fire truck and got to go through the smoke simulator with plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Jennifer Wooton, a teacher at Stratton, coordinates awareness events and wanted this to happen when the fire department reached out.
“It’s really exciting for me to see the questions that the kids have asked this morning,” Wooton said. “I’ve heard some great questions that I myself wouldn’t have thought to ask, really good questions, things that the kids need to know. It’s great to see that they’re thinking about this, kind of putting it in the forefront of their mind and so that they’re prepared if they ever need to be.”
Fire Marshal Ernest Parsons says it’s all about showing their human side so the kids won’t be scared and teaching them, so they’ll be ready.
“It’s always important to talk to students when they’re young,” Parsons said. “They’re impressionable at that age, so when we get the message into them that young, hopefully it sticks with them and hopefully they never have a problem, but if they do, they’ll remember what to do.”
However, teachers say some of the students at the school have unfortunately already been through the real thing.
“We have actually had a couple of families over the past year that have experienced house fires, so we’re really excited to have the fire department here to teach our kids what to do in case of a fire because a lot of them have no clue,” Wooton said. “They just weren’t familiar with what they should do in case there was a fire. It’s good for them to be prepared a head of time so they don’t panic in the moment.”
One of the big takeaways from the program that the fire department wanted the kids to take with them was making an escape plan and designating a meeting point with their families.