The ear-piercing “beep – beep – beep – beep” of a smoke detector stops the students from their chatting and they come to attention.
“When you hear this go off in the middle of the night, who here knows what to do?” asked Sonora Fire Captain Eric Hille. Firefighters from the Sonora Fire Department have been busy this month telling school-age students how to be fire safe.
This morning, dozens of students at Sonora Elementary School learned about everything from smoke alarms to how to safely get out of a burning building.
Firefighter John Eaton got dressed in his full fire protective gear and air tank to demostrate what he looks and sounds like and how firefighters search for people in a flame and smoke-filled building.
“A lot of kids get scared of us in a fire and they actually run from us,” Hille said. “So we have to let them know we´re there to help them and not to be scared of us.”
The firefighters were at the school Monday and Tuesday doing fire prevention education and will be back to the school Thursday as well.
“Basically we´re teaching the kids what to do if their house catches fire, make an escape plan, what to do it they catch on fire – stop,drop, and roll – and we´re promoting this year´s fire prevention theme which is ´Get out and stay out´,” Hille explained.
The firefighters are also teaching the children how to dial 9-1-1 and what information they have to give. But they also have some fun, letting the children spray water from a fire hose. “Most of all, it teaches them about fire safety and what to do,” Hille said.
Last week the team gave demonstrations at the Kiddie College, Seventh Day Adventise School, plus presentations in Jamestown and at the Sonora Wall Mart.
Next week they hope to demonstrate fire prevention at the Health Expo at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds on October 22.