Children get a lesson in fire safety
The Fire Prevention Unit of the Hanover Fire Department staged a fire awareness session for students of the Elgin Town Basic School at the Hanover Parish Library on Wednesday, in recognition of Fire Awareness Week.
The event coincided with the library's Weenie Wednesdays events which are held every Wednesday of each week, throughout the year. Activities included a storytelling session conducted by rural development librarian, Vonnette Jones, and an interactive audiovisual presentation by Sergeant Shaun Anderson, featuring singalongs, a short animated film, demonstrations, discussions, a fire drill practice, and a tour of the Emergency Medical Service's ambulance.
Fire Awareness Theme
This year's Fire Awareness Week is being held under the theme, 'Communities in Action; Supporting Fire Prevention', and according to Anderson, Wednesday's event was a part of the Hanover Fire Department's ongoing public education programme targeting early-childhood institutions.
"Targeting kids at this young and tender age is always important, because what will happen is that they will tend to grow and appreciate fire prevention and staying safe and ensure that we have a safe environment," Anderson said. "We have programmes designed for all ages, but we pay special attention to the early-childhood institutions because they are young and vulnerable, so we ensure they get a good and a solid start as it relates to fire safety."
"We have planned events; we do impromptu sessions where we speak to the teachers and students. We visit all the early-childhood institutions in the parish - all the schools," Anderson stressed. "We do drills and presentations at all schools. We even attend their career days, which is a new thing for the basic schools, and it is a plus to see most of them dressed as firefighters."
Principal of the Elgin Town Basic School, Garnet Dias, was very pleased with the session, and said that it was of great value to her students.
"I think our children have responded well. It is very important that they learn about fire safety. In case there is a fire they can know how to proceed," she said.
Rural development librarian, Vonnette Jones, explained the Weenie Wednesdays concept to Western Focus, under which Wednesday's programme was staged.
"Weenie Wednesdays is a programme that caters towards children at the early-childhood level. What we are trying to do is develop and foster love for reading at a tender age, because those are the best years to capture the students to prepare them for primary school and high school," she said.
"It is held every Wednesday at 10 a.m., so what we do is invite the schools to bring the children in. So, the activities vary because we have the storytelling in there. We have art and craft, singing; all those activities that are geared towards children at that age," she said.