By Felicia Watkins
Fire Prevention Week is near from Oct. 7-13.
But the Millington Fire Department’s fire prevention team has already been out in full force teaching children of all ages the importance of fire safety. This week the MFD personnel were at Millington Elementary and at Millington Child Development Center. They will also be at Lucy Elementary and E.A. Harrold in the upcoming weeks.
Each year the MFD has a new theme, and this year it is “Have Two Ways Out.” The theme stresses the need for making a plan for escape that includes two separate exits and what to do if two exits are not available, figuring out a meeting place and how to call the fire department. They encourage children to tell their parents and grandparents what to do in case of a fire.
The fire prevention team included Fire Marshal Jack Foraker, Lt. Carey Maiden, firefighters William Meskenas and Don Jenkins, Inspector Robert Reilly controlling “Pluggy” the remote controlled, talking fire plug and Quinn Hall from the codes enforcement department dressed up as “Sparky” the fire dog.
Foraker said it was great having the two departments working together and that “safety education is what it’s all about.” He said that the codes enforcement department also provides storm water information.
Most of the children wore red for the day of the event and could barely keep their seats as they excitedly watched Foraker, Pluggy and Sparky demonstrated how to call 911 for emergencies only, what to do if a smoke alarm goes off (get out and stay out), and what to do if there is smoke (stay low and go). After the demonstration, the firefighters helped the children one by one to climb onto the fire truck they were anxiously waiting to examine. They provided the children with coloring books and bracelets that reinforce fire safety.
Foraker and his team want to stress the importance of Fire Prevention Week. It is the basis for fire safety education. Each year as the team visits the children at day-cares and schools more and more of the children learn and remember what they need to do in case of a fire.
“As we increase these efforts, the less the incidents,” Foraker said. “We will make about 2,500 fire prevention contacts through the duration of Fire Prevention Week through all of the schools and day-cares like this. It’s a great opportunity to get out and talk to our public and our customers.”