Students learn about fire prevention
Appleton — Students at Appleton Village School participated in Fire Prevention Day Oct. 8 as part of National Fire Prevention Week.
Every year the focus of fire prevention changes and this year local fire departments are speaking to students about kitchen fire safety.
According to Appleton Fire Capt. Brian Sullivan, 50 percent of all house fires start in the kitchen.
Fire Prevention Day began with a fire drill to practice what to do in case the school was on fire. Students left the building in single file and gathered on the athletic fields, where school officials took attendance to identify missing students, if any.
The students then listened to Sullivan, Fire Chief David Stone and student firefighter Nicki Fowlie talk about fire safety and what they should do if they ever experience a kitchen fire.
“I feel that it is important for the kids to know what to do in case of a fire,” said Sullivan. “In the case of a kitchen fire, or any fire for that matter, the best thing they can do is get out and call 911.”
Sullivan also reminded students there is nothing more important than being safe, so going back into a burning building should never happen.
“Don’t go back in after your iPod or anything like that; it’s just not worth getting hurt over,” he advised.
After listening to the brief talk students were able to go outside and look at some of the equipment used by the fire department and talk with firefighters about what it is like to be one. Union Ambulance was also on hand to give tours and answer questions about emergency medical services.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that destroyed more than 17,000 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began Oct. 8 and continued to burn for days. More than 250 people were killed in the blaze.
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1920 and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls.
According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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