This week was fire prevention week, as fire departments across Canada and the United States once again dialed up their focus on attempting to prevent fires in their community.
The Prince Rupert Fire Department (PRFD) spent the week touring elementary schools seeking to instill fire safety tips in kids from a young age. Conrad Elementary was the first stop on the department’s list on Monday, during a tour that will see them visit each elementary school in town.
“Our main goal is to get a simple but effective message out to kids in Grades 1 to 3,” Jeff Beckwith, deputy fire chief with the PRFD, said. “It’s a great program that goes across Canada and the United States where fire departments do presentations in schools every October.”
|Deputy fire chief Jeff Beckwith puts kids to the test following the Prince Rupert Fire Department's presentation on fire safety. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Beckwith, along with several of his colleagues including fire chief Dave Mckenzie, held a presentation that included advice on smoke detectors and the classic stop, drop and roll technique, as well as an emphasis on this year’s theme: making sure you have two ways out of your house.
Kids were put to the test at the end of the assembly with a quiz on the material covered. Those who were paying attention were rewarded with a junior firefighter’s hat.
|These alert young firefighters got to go home with their own junior fire department hats for keeping sharp and answering a question from the presentation. Firefighter Troy Leighton, captain Remo Pomponio, fire chief Dave Mckenzie, firefighter Ryan Fuzi and deputy fire chief Jeff Beckwith made up the crew. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
“It’s a great way for us to assess the knowledge that the kids have,” Beckwith said of the trips into schools. “This wouldn’t be possible unless the teachers were also promoting the fire safety information that we provide in the classroom.”
After the presentation one lucky class got to head outside for a tour of a fire truck with firefighter Troy Leighton. Not to worry for any kid who missed out though — both youth and adults can tour the fire trucks, fire hall, fire museum and more during the PRFD’s open house this Saturday.
Alex Kurial | Journalist
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