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Firefighters teach fire safety to school-age youngsters

Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company firefighters took their annual fire prevention program activities Oct. 7 and 8 to Salisbury Township nonpublic schools utilizing in-school attendance during the ongoing pandemic.

Students at Lehigh Christian School, St. Thomas More School and the Lehigh Valley Hospital’s preschool day care center learned ways to be fire safe at home and at school.

The programs were narrated by Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company Chief Joshua Wells, who said the department’s firefighters look forward to the school fire prevention programs every year during October’s National Fire Prevention Week.

While this year’s national fire prevention programs focus on fire safety in the kitchen, Wells also talked about the importance of having smoke detectors in every bedroom, avoiding playing with lighters or matches, how to have a home fire drill, how to use 911 to call for help and the “stop, drop and roll” technique to extinguish clothing which has caught fire.

Part of every program includes firefighters transitioning from street clothes to full protective gear. While geared-up firefighters might be frightening to a youngster at home at night during a fire situation, Wells emphasized a firefighter is their friend and is there to help them. The exercise is to assure the youngsters they should never be afraid and hide from a firefighter.

This year’s pleasant early-October weather also allowed outside demonstrations of the department’s engines and allowed firefighters to flow water from hose lines.

The program has been taken into Salisbury Township schools by firefighters for decades to expose youngsters in their early grades about the importance of fire safety. A number of Western Salisbury firefighters who help present the programs remember their days in Salisbury elementary schools when they were students learning the same principles.

PRESS PHOTO BY JIM MARSH Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company Chief Joshua Wells tells students at Lehigh Christian Academy, at Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, the importance of having a smoke detector in every bedroom in their home.
Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company Chief Joshua Wells tells Lehigh Christian Academy students a firefighter is their friend and never to hide from a firefighter in an emergency situation, even if they might look scary in their protective gear.
A Western Salisbury firefighter in full protective gear circulates among students at Lehigh Christian Academy so they can see and hear what a firefighter in a search mode looks and sounds like.
In an outdoor program Oct. 8, Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company firefighter provides young students at St. Thomas More School a program designed to help keep the youngsters fire safe at home and at school.
Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company Chief Joshua Wells tells youngsters at Lehigh Valley Hospital's day care preschool facility firefighters are their friends and not to be feared. One youngster attended the center Oct. 8 with his junior firefighter gear for the occasion.
Western Salisbury firefighter Alok Patniak helps a youngster at the Lehigh Valley Hospital's preschool day care center as he uses a hose line to put out a pretend fire. Press Photos by Jim Marsh