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JFD Visits Local Schools For Fire Prevention Month

Capt. Phil Hanlon of the Jamestown Fire Department put on his equipment to show Love Elementary School students what a firefighter looks like when fighting a fire. Submitted photos

Squeals of delight were in the air at Love Elementary School thanks to a visit from the Jamestown Fire Department, complete with flashing lights, for Fire Prevention Month.

The fire department is visiting local schools and organizations to stress the importance of fire prevention with students. JFD Capt. Phil Hanlon and Fire Prevention officer Rob Smith talked with students giving them fire prevention tips and a tour of the Station 3 fire truck.

“Fire prevention is important all year long but we like to make a special effort to promote it during the month of October,” Smith said. “With the weather getting colder and the holidays coming, there are more opportunities for fires with holiday decorations, cooking fires and fireplaces. We just want the community to have information to help them prevent fires, and to know what to do if something happens in their home or business. We love coming to the schools as it is a good way for us to spread the word about fire prevention and to meet the kids in person.”

Smith provides age-appropriate fire prevention tips to students including “low and go” if they smell smoke or see a fire, practicing exit strategies from their house with families, creating a meeting place outside the house in case of fire and to call 911. Captain Hanlon put on his firefighting gear so that students could see what he would look like if he came into their houses during a fire.

“I learned that if I hear the beep from the smoke alarm I need to get low and go and try to get out of my house,” said Love Elementary School first grader Jecias Figueroa Torres. “I also learned that the firemen are there to help me and I shouldn’t be scared if I see them come into my house to help me during a fire.”

Students celebrate a visit from Hanlon and fire prevention officer Rob Smith from the Jamestown Fire Department.

The firemen also talked about the Jamestown Fire Department and Chautauqua Children’s Education Safety Village program to supply free smoke alarms to the community.

“I learned that I need to get on the ground and not breathe the smoke,” said Love Elementary School first grader Quentin Gustafson. “I also found out I can get a free smoke alarm if we need one for my bedroom. And I really liked the fire truck and all the flashing lights.”

Cindy Johnson, Love School principal, was thrilled with the department visit.

“The UPK, kindergarten and first grade students were so excited to see the fire truck and the firemen at our school. Jamestown is lucky to have professional firefighters who will spend time with our children to teach them about fire safety. At Love, safety is a priority both at school and at home! I would like to personally thank the Jamestown Fire Department, Officer Smith and Captain Hanlon for their time and our own Liketia McAffee for taking the initiative to call the fire department to arrange their visit.”

If anyone in the community needs a smoke alarm for their house, they can contact Smith at 483-7597 to schedule an appointment for him to come to their house, test their existing smoke alarms and provide information about where the new alarms need to be installed. If you live outside the City of Jamestown, the Chautauqua Safety Village will gladly provide them. You can contact Jessica Dayton, executive director at 338-0171.

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