Appleton firefighters mix safety, prevention with fun

By Louis Bettcher | Oct 10, 2017
Photo by: Louis Bettcher Appleton firefighters Matt Dixon, left, and Assistant Chief Brian Sullivan share fire safety information at Appleton Village School on Oct. 10.

Appleton — Students at Appleton Village School recognized Fire Prevention Week Oct. 10 with a presentation by members of the Appleton Fire Department. The week, which always takes place in October, is observed at schools throughout the country with activities that highlight the importance of fire safety.

After reporting to the school's playground with their teachers following a fire drill, the kindergarten through eighth-grade students watched as three fire engines arrived at the school. The firefighters made presentations to each age group focused on this year's fire safety theme: the importance of having two exits, doors or windows, in each room.

Assistant Chief Brian Sullivan and Appleton firefighter Matt Dixon demonstrated the fire fighting gear they wear to each emergency scene, and answered questions from students on how to best prevent fires and remain safe during such an event. Sullivan highlighted the importance of smoke detectors, checking doors for heat with the back of one's hand before opening them and using flashlights at windows to alert responders. The students were also provided with information packets to share with their families.

Following the classroom discussions, students gathered outside and were given the chance to sit in the driver's seat of the fire engines, touch the myriad controls and switches on the trucks and even try sets of firefighting gear. Appleton Fire Chief Darrell Grierson said the department has been making similar presentations at AVS for the past 20 or 30 years.

"The kids really enjoy it, and I really think some of them look forward to this each year. They love playing around in the trucks, but we'll make sure that we check all of the buttons and switches again before we turn the power back on," Grierson said with a laugh.

AVS student Julia Stapes tries an Appleton firefighter's helmet on for size. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Ben Beale, left, and Natalia Davis have a laugh in jackets provided by the Appleton Fire Department on Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Appleton firefighter David Stone, left, explains some of the mechanics of the fire engines to students Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Katelynn Colbry, left, and Hailey Jones perform a mock rescue at Appleton Village School Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Students take turns sitting atop one of the Appleton Fire Department's engines. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Ethan Foley, left, and Luke Frederick take a turn sitting inside on of the fire trucks Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Madison Pascal climbs down from an Appleton fire engine Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Students at Appleton Village School take turns trying on firefighting gear Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Joseph Coffey, left, and Logan Odone try on some firefighting gear at the Appleton Village School Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Engines from the Appleton Fire Department arrive at the Appleton Village School to celebrate Fire Prevention Week Oct. 10. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Wendy ThatcherHall | Oct 11, 2017 10:34

Special thanks to our volunteer firefighters for all they do!

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