Tarkington elementary students learn fire safety tips during Fire Prevention Week

Tarkington Primary students get an up-close look at Tarkington VFD's Engine 51 during Fire Prevention Week presentations on Monday.

Every year local fire departments visit schools during Fire Prevention Week to spread fire safety awareness and give children information they could use if they are in an emergency situation.

Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department, led by Chief Paul Gregory, visited the Tarkington schools on Monday, Oct. 9.

Several lessons were taught such as not cooking without parental supervision, the number to call in an emergency, how crawling on the floor helps a person stay out of smoke in the event of a house fire, the differences between a tool and toy, stranger danger, and ‘build a firefighter’.

Tarkington Fire Chief Paul Gregory interacts with a dragon puppet during a fire safety presentation for Fire Prevention Week at Tarkington Primary School on Monday.

“Fire prevention started because of the Great Chicago fire that happened this week about 150 years ago. We want to do something to prevent fire from spreading, make sure kids get out safe, and learn stop, drop, and roll, and when to get out of the house and how to get out of the house. There are kids injured every year because fires happen stuff that we go over. There are kids injured every year because fires happen in their house, so we’re trying to prevent that,” says Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Paul Gregory.

“The fire prevention program started with just the firefighters talking to the kids. It has evolved to now where we use clowns and puppets to get our message across. Normally we try to teach five to six messages that are fire related and normally one to two that are related with PDs, such as stranger danger. The fire prevention message nationwide is kitchen related cooking awareness,” says Fire Coordinator Robert Matthew with Hill College, who assisted Tarkington VFD with Fire Prevention Week programs this year.

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