Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Visit to the Fire Station

My group with their new hats!
I went on my first tour of our local fire station with my son's Junior Kindergarten class today as a parent volunteer. If you've never been inside a fire house before, you're not alone. (If you have - - maybe you can tell me just how similar our local fire house is to the one you've visited.)

I really wasn't sure what to expect, myself. Was their any truth behind the shows and movies full of hunky firemen sliding down poles, clanging alarm bells and firehouse dogs? Was I going to catch a scantily clad woman leaving, a-la Samantha Jones in Sex and the City? Or, would it just be a bunch of firefighters hanging around, eating chili, waiting for an alarm? Those were some of the unlikely scenarios that ran through my head this morning. I became rational again, and hoped (as exciting as it would be) that there wouldn't actually be a fire call while we were there.

Getting an official welcome and preparing the kids for a short film about Fire Safety



The class (made up of four and five year olds) was introduced to some Fire Safety Tips from an animated film, starring Sparky - - The ABC's of Fire Safety. I thought it was a little dated, but it was well-received by the kids. By using the Alphabet, it was actually quite memorable, so it did its job. The kids were asked questions afterwards including the following: 

Q: How do you know if a smoke detector is working? 
A: You need to push the button and hear the "beeps". This should be checked every week! 

Q: What do you do if your clothing catches fire?
A: Stop. Drop. Roll. (cover your face with your hands for protection)

Q: If you find a lighter or matches what should you do with them? 
A: Give them to an adult 

What struck me the entire time we were there, was how quiet and calm it was! 

Wow, that's shiny!
Next, we were divided up into our groups. "Our" fireman was the driver of the fire truck that carries all of the "tools" the firefighters might need. He explained that there was no water on the truck, but it carried very important equipment for water rescues, rope/rappel rescues and vehicle extrication amongst other things. He rolled up the sides of the separate compartments and revealed all of the tools of the trade. It was really interesting when he pulled out a large axe, and one of the boys said,

"Hey, I have one of those in my dresser drawer!" 

Okaaaaay. LOL!

 He kindly lifted the children into the truck and let them check out the inside. They used a portable radio, and even got to try on a real firefighter's hat, which, they all agreed, was very heavy!

Inside, each of the kids took turns holding a fire hose, pulling it back and turning the nozzle. (Not attached to any water source, to the dismay of some kids.)
They were then allowed to try out the portable hand pumps that are used on small bush and grass fires. 

Looking Up, up, up!
We walked through the building to the other side, to see a ladder truck, lifting a fireman high into the sky. 

Is he scary? NO!
Lastly, one of the firefighters volunteered to put on all of his gear to demonstrate to the kids that a firefighter looks really different when he puts on all of his equipment, and the kids should never be afraid of them. He even received a hug from one of the little girls when he was done. They went through all the steps, starting from the boots - - all the way to the helmet. In all, it's about 60 - 70 lbs of gear!

The tour went quite smoothly, the kids behaved. There were no alarm bells, no dalmatians, no shirtless, musclebound calendar pin-ups. The firemen we met were kind, calm, professionals. They were down-to-earth and good with the kids. All-in-all, it was a really nice little class trip.

I hope to never be in need of any of the gentlemen I met today, but I know, someone will, and they will be in very capable hands.

Much appreciation to all of those who took part in our little tour today at Fire Station One in St. Catharines! Thank you for all that you do, everyday!


  1. Looks like it was a very fun, impressive visit.

    When Emma was about two, there was a community fair during the summer. A police car was parked there as part of the day. I took Emma over to the car to chat with the police officer as I wanted her to know that police are a source of help. The officer was friendly. At the end of the chat, I asked Emma 'So who can you ask for help if you ever need it?' She answered 'Santa Claus'. The officer burst out laughing. :)

  2. LOL! Kathleen, that's awesome! Totally an SNL skit, if there ever was one. LOve it!


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