Chippewa Falls firefighters teach fire safety to elementary students

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – Fire Prevention Week is coming to an end, but Chippewa Falls firefighters are turning a week into a month for the community, and Friday was dedicated to the little ones.

“I learned stuff that they do in ambulances, and how they get people out of fires,” said first grader Colin Makar.

As a part of fire prevention month, Chippewa Falls firefighters gave a tour to a first grade class from Hillcrest Elementary in Chippewa Falls. The youngest kids the fire department teaches are in 4K.

“I think if we can start younger, they’ll retain it and they’ll remember it for when they do get older,” said Justus Busse, fire inspector for the Chippewa Falls Fire Department. “Some of the topics we cover with them are calling 911, and staying calm, and knowing their addresses. Another thing that we talk with them about is having two ways out of a room, having an escape plan. We also like to make sure that their smoke detectors are working.”

Courtesy: Chippewa Falls Fire Department

Firefighters also stress the importance of keeping your room doors closed when you head to bed. The doors can delay the fire, and keep the smoke and heat out. These pictures (right) are one example from a Chippewa Falls house fire in June. Both rooms were side by side, but the closed door separating them, delayed the fire long enough for emergency services to arrive and extinguish the flames.

“One other really important thing we talk to them about is having a meeting spot, or a safe spot where they can go and we can do an accountability to make sure everybody is out of the house,” Busse said.

Courtesy: Chippewa Falls Fire Department

Firefighters also said if you are out of the house, stay out. Don’t try to go back in.

The tour wasn’t just about learning fire safety. The kids got to have a bit of fun too.

“My favorite thing to see today was probably the guy go out of the chute,” Makar said.

“They love being in the fire truck,” said Darcie Schindler, first grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary. “They love seeing somebody dress up. So, I think it’s really important for the kids.”

Chippewa Falls firefighters also sent the kids home with some homework. If they fill out a the form that says they are in need of a smoke detector, the department will get them one at no cost.

Shannon Hoyt

Shannon Hoyt

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