The Medina Fire Department recently spent some time at Oak Orchard Elementary School talking to students about fire safety and allowing them to explore the Orleans County's Emergency Management Office's fire safety training trailer. The 35-foot-long trailer is available to all 12 fire departments in the county and was paid for with a $75,000 state grant from Senator Robert Ortt. The trailer is used to help children and families develop a fire escape plan.
"We were lucky enough to have the trailer for the whole week," says Oak Orchard Principal Julie Webber. "We like to get the community into the school as much as possible and this lets the children know that the fire department is here to help them. Our students, grades first, second and third got to visit the trailer. Pre-K and kindergarten had a traditional fire safety talk in the classroom. It was very cool, they practiced crawling on the floor to exit the trailer. It’s a real life experience for them. They also got to practice calling 911 as well." Firefighter and paramedic Steve Miller says, "We had the trailer the week before Fire Prevention Week to showcase this to the school. We pumped fog into the trailer to simulate smoke and we talked to the students about having two ways out of their home. We also talked about the importance of changing your batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year and overall fire safety and what to do in the case of an emergency."
The trailer is set up with a kitchen area, hallway and a bedroom. The firefighters talked about how to handle pots and pans on the stove and kitchen fires. They also discussed the importance of touching the doors to see if they are warm before opening them. One of the features of the trailer is that the doors can be controlled to get warm to the touch from built-in heating elements. There is a window at the back of the trailer with a ladder that the students practiced getting out of. "We tell them when there is smoke you want to get nice and low. Because smoke rises," says Firefighter Miller. "We explained the importance of when they get outside to have a meeting place for their family so everyone can be accounted for. Our purpose is to provide fire safety tips to the children and make it fun for them. It's a great tool for us to use."