To finish off this year’s national Fire Awareness Week, the Penticton Fire Department invited 10 youth from local elementary schools to become fire chiefs for a day.
The lucky youngsters were treated to lunch with the fire department, before joining them for some ‘training’ exercises. The kids were able to learn how to read the thermal imaging camera the fire fighters use, and play hide-and-seek with it. They practiced hauling a rescue dummy, turning on the hydrant, and blasting targets with the fire hose. All of the kids also got a turn riding in the fire engine’s captain seat around the training yard. The children aren’t the only ones to have fun with the special day either, with the firefighters also having a good time.
“They really embrace the fact that they can work with the kids in the local community and teach them about fire safety,” said Deputy Fire Chief Rob Trousdell. “They’re like big kids themselves, so they like to get out there and have fun with the kids. It’s a great program.”
For some of the kids, it was also a chance to get some experience for the future, with the hopes of being a firefighter themselves. Even though they found the ‘training’ harder than they expected, it did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. The firefighters helping the kids out were also full of smiles and laughter throughout the day.
The Penticton Fire Department and other departments across Canada every reach out to the community through the Fire Prevention Week to help teach kids and their families how to be safer when it comes to fires. This year, the theme for the week was on escape routes, knowing the exits, how to get out away from a fire, and where to go once you are outside and safe.
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