Firefighters teach fire safety


GREENVILLE – DeColores Montessori students were treated to a visit this week from the Greenville Fire Department in observance of Fire Prevention Safety Month.

Firefighters Jordan Utrup and Damion Cook spoke with students in their classrooms, while Capt. Daniel Myers gave a “tour” of the department’s ladder truck, with students getting the opportunity to sit inside the cab.

Reinforcing fire safety facts such as Stop, Drop and Roll, crawling out of a smoke-filled room, selecting a safe family meeting place outside the house, and recognizing what a firefighter in full gear looks and sounds like were all part of the department’s visit.

“Do you know what this is?” Cook asked, holding up a smoke detector in Julie Bruns and Patty Karns’ preschool and kindergarten class.

Most of the 3-6 year olds yelled out “smoke detector,” agreeing with Cook when he asked if they’d heard smoke detectors go off when “mom and dad are cooking.”

Cook then sounded the detector’s alarm and asked what students were supposed to do if they hear the beeping sound when mom and dad weren’t cooking.

“Go outside,” they said.

The firefighters discussed the necessity of having a pre-determined safe spot to meet their family members in case of a fire, as well as the importance of sleeping with their bedroom door shut.

“It’s important to sleep with you door shut in case of a fire,” Cook said, then asked “What two ways are there to go out of your room during a fire?” The preschoolers and kindergartners answered correctly by replying with “window and door.”

Utrup then demonstrated putting on his firefighting gear, including an oxygen tank, speaking to the students so they would know what it sounds like if a firefighter ever comes into their bedroom in case of an emergency.

“We might look like a monster, but we’re not. It looks kinda scary, but it’s not scary,” Cook said. “Don’t think it’s something scary.”

Explaining how he puts his oxygen tank on just like they do their book bags, Utrup invited students to come up and touch his coat and gloves, telling them that in case of a fire “don’t run away, run to me. It’s just me. I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff on. If you are trapped, it’s our job to find you.”

Cook told the students not to hide in case they ever wake up to a fire or a smoke-filled bedroom. “Yell and scream so we can find you.”

The students then went outside where Myers talked about all the components of the fire truck, explaining how the hoses and other tools worked.

Six-year-old Avery Garber said his favorite part was the fire truck’s hatchet “because it can break windows,” he said.

Kali Drew, also 6, said she enjoyed practicing the Stop, Drop and Roll technique in her classroom.

Firefighters also are scheduled to visit with Greenville Elementary and St. Marys Elementary students to discuss fire safety.

Greenville Fire Captain Daniel Myers gave a tour of the department’s ladder truck with DeColores Montessori preschool and kindergarten students on Monday. Fire Captain Daniel Myers gave a tour of the department’s ladder truck with DeColores Montessori preschool and kindergarten students on Monday.
Students told to ‘run to me’

By Susan Hartley

Reach Managing Editor Susan Hartley at [email protected]. Read more news, features and sports at

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