Dexter area firefighters teach student fire safety

Dexter Area Fire Fighter Lt. Lee Root teaches first graders at Bates Elementary about firefighter turnout gear.
Dexter Area Fire Fighter Lt. Lee Root teaches first graders at Bates Elementary about firefighter turnout gear.

Dexter Area Fire Department firefighter Lt. Lee Root spent the day at Bates Elementary school this week teaching first graders the importance of student fire safety and provided some useful tips to keep the Dexter area’s children safe for Fire Prevention Week.

Fire prevention week is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association in Michigan and Wisconsin. It began in 1927 to memorialize the Great Chicago Fire and use that occasion to increase fire safety and awareness.

“We do this every year and I’ve done it for many years,” Root said. “It’s definitely worth the time investment to make sure our community’s children know what to do should they find themselves in a dangerous situation.”

Bates Elementary 1st grade teacher Lori Sarver’s students had a good grasp on some of the basics like what a fire detector sounds like and what it means when smoke trips the detector’s sensors.

Many fire safety tips seemed to be new to Sarver’s kids: many were surprised to know that when you don’t have a window ladder to get out of a second-story window that firefighters first look for objects like a stuffed teddy bear dropped out of a window to indicated that someone needs a ladder rescue.

Root encouraged parents to engage in more fire drills at home, particularly with regard to usage of a window ladder. Several of the students raised their hands when asked if they had a ladder available to them, but not all indicated that they had used it.

“Some of the kids I talk to say that theirs is still in the box,” Root said. “Take it out of the box and practice using it,” he advised the kids.

Fire Prevention Safety Week activities will be held at various grade levels throughout the district this and next week, making this a perfect time for Dexter area parents to also talk to their children about what to do in the event of a house fire and perhaps even have a home fire drill so the whole family is prepared to safely make it out of a house fire.

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