Story of Sean and Fire Safety
My four year old, Sean, had just begun kindergarten and as they do at the beginning of any school year, there was a big emphasis on fire safety and the firedrill. We developed an evacuation plan at home and he was having many firedrills in school. One evening as I was cooking supper, Sean was sitting at the kitchen table completing his homework (coloring). There must have been a french fry on the bottom of the oven that started burning and our highly sensitive smoke detector went off. Well, My little guy didn't look to see what his brother or I were going to do...his eyes got as round as saucers and he turned around and walked briskly right out our front door and down the step onto the driveway. He didn't even have any shoes on!! After that, I knew he took fire safety seriously!
Jill Green (grade one teacher at Holy Trinity Elementary)
Fire Prevention and Public Education for
Sheshatshiu From Feb 14 to Feb 22
I arrived in Goose Bay on Sunday night Feb 14 at 10:20 pm after being bumped from my 11 am flight in Deer Lake.
Monday morning. Feb 15 I meet with Greg Pastitshi, a representative from Sheshatshiu Innu Band Council and Douglas Ashini, Acting Fire Chief for Sheshatshiu Innu Fire Department. We picked up my display, handouts and Sparky at the Provincial Airline freight office and proceeded to Sheshatshiu Innu School.
We met with Principal Clarence Davis and explained our intended audience which included all students from Kindergarten to Level 3.
After set up I had my first presentation with the Kindergartens, Acting Fire Chief Ashini, Greg Pastitshi and three volunteer firefighters who were also in attendance.
As part of my presentation we had the kindergarten students perform the Stop, Drop and Roll and to crawl low under smoke. To create the illusion of smoke I had two volunteer firefighters hold a blanket a few feet above the floor while the students crawled under it on their hands and knees.
The students were presented with our colouring books, crayons, and pencils with fire prevention messages, activity sheets and handouts to take home.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we had individual classes visit the library for our presentation. Smaller numbers led to better interaction with the students and consequently they were able to demonstrate the Stop, Drop and Roll and Crawling.
Jessica and Garret, students from Team Katimavik who were working at the school, dressed as Sparky for the students. They both were a great help to me and I would like to thank them very much for their help and wish them all the best in their future.
The High School students were first shown our Recruitment and Retention CD. I played the video Fire Power to show why we needed to have a fire escape plan in our homes. It was also shown to impress upon the students how quickly a house fire can spread and prevent escape. We also used the Hazard House to demonstrate how smoke rises and the need to get low and the importance of closing ones bedroom doors at night.
We were informed on Thursday that school would be closed on Friday so we doubled a few classes to get all the students. I then booked the school in Northwest River because many of the students attending that school are from Sheshatshiu.
A public meeting was held Tuesday night, which was attended by approximate 25 residents both young and old. I felt that this meeting went very well with many questions from the residents, special thanks to Greg Pastitshi who translated for me. At this meeting we used the Fire Power video and our Rand R CD. I also used the Hazard House. We discussed many local issues plus the importance of keeping matches and lighters out of children’s reach. We gave out handouts to all who attended, including a home checklist.
One of the problems in Sheshatshiu was the residents covering their smoke detectors with plastic so they wouldn’t sound if there were smoke in the room. I addressed this problem both with students and the residents.
We covered many topics: Crawl low under smoke, Stop Drop and Roll, keep portable heaters 1 metre away from walls, sofas etc., replace light bulbs with the correct watts because many were replacing them with higher wattages, children to stay away from stoves when in use, candle safety, careful while smoking, wet the ashes before dumping them in the garbage, importance of knowing two ways out from every room and practice their escape plan, having working smoke detectors, take care when using electricity and using GFCI outlets, cleaning dryers, keeping matches out of reach of children, the importance of getting out and staying out during a fire.
Overall everything seemed to go well. A Public Education and Fire Prevention program needs to be done again in the near future. I did leave extra Learn Not to Burn Curriculum books with the teachers to refresh the students on learned fire behaviours.
Whenever there is a fire in Sheshatshiu I think the students and residents should be made aware of the cause and how it can be prevented.
Learn Not to Burn
Is the Learn Not to Burn program working?
That's a valid question we ask at some point but last week when I visited the school in Pollards Point I received the answer we were all hoping for and that answer is yes. Maybe not every student or eiey parent takes the message as serious as we would like BUT the message is getting home.
Amber Ricks approached me after I was finished my presentation and told me the following story: Her words:
" Sir before you came to our school when I was in kindergarten we didn't have a smoke detector anywhere in our new house, but when you asked us to go home and check our smoke detectors and if we didn't have one to bug our moms and dad until we got one. Will I went home and I begged my mom and dad until we got one on every level in our new home. Sir I would like to thank you for bringing that message to me and my family"
I asked her mom for permission to use this story on our web site and in our magazine. She gladly agreed to my request. I also asked her to send along a picture or two of Amber with the smoke detector.
Hi Users of this web page,
I will update this page with information regarding visits to school and any new fire prevention ideas. If you need to get in touch with me please call 709 763 4889 or my cell 709 424 5360.
Sparky Hazard House
Click on Sparky to go to his site
Sparky our Mascot
For Children fire and other safety games click on the Picture
Thanks to The Packet for permission to use this story and Photos by Kathy Goose
Charleston youth recognized for his quick thinking Alerts family to fire
The closing assembly at Anthony Paddon last Wednesday (June 24/09) was a memorable one for grade five student, Tyrone Gould
As certificates were passed out to many students, Tyrone Gould was called to receive a special award.
Tyrone, a grade five student, received an award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services. Everett Pitts, the Learn Not To Burn coordinator made the presentation to the 11 year old.
This past December, Tyrone and his family were snuggled warmly in their beds when he was awakened by what seemed like crackling noises coming from inside his bedroom walls. At first he didn’t know what to make of the sounds.
He quickly ran to his mother’s bedroom to alert her. His mother knew right away what the sounds were. Their house was on fire.
The 11-year old recalls feeling a wave of emotions run through his head.
“There were a lot of thoughts going through my head at the time; and fear was definitely one of them.” says Tyrone. “
Upon hearing his mom Lori shout out that the house was on fire he quickly made his way to his sister Erica’s room.
“She was hard to wake because she was in a deep sleep,” he says.
Once he did wake Erica they both made their way back to their mom’s room. By then Lori was trying to stop the spread of smoke coming into the room by dousing it with buckets of water. Erica also lent a hand.
“The flames were in the closet and in the walls next to the chimney,” he says.
Tyrone’s next thought was of the family dog, Falen.
“I rushed to get our dog to safety. It wasn’t long before the house was full of smoke. There wasn’t much we could do to stop the flames from spreading. So we decided to leave everything and get out.”
It wasn’t long before the volunteer fire department arrived and with the help of some neighbours the fire was extinguished.
Tyrone says although the house was badly damaged he credits his sister for her quick thinking.
“Things could have been much worse,” he says. “My sister was a big help because she went back upstairs and closed all the doors to stop the fire from spreading through the house faster.
‘This was something I’ll never forget, and I hope that it will never happen again to me or anyone else.”
Everett Pitts says it was through Tyler’s efforts that there was no loss of life.
“We have all heard stories where people save lives and we need to do something to recognize it,” says Pitts. “Tyrone is a true firefighters’ friend and a family hero.”
Representing the local volunteer fire departments in the area was Gerald Thomas, fire chief with the Musgravetown Volunteer Fire Department. He also had words of praise for Tyrone.
“I go to the schools each year during fire prevention week to speak to students. What we see here this morning is the end result of our message to them,” says Thomas.
“We’re really proud to know that what we’re preaching to the students they are taking very seriously. No matter how big or small we are we all have a part to play with regards to fire prevention and safety.”
Deputy fire chief with the Lethbridge Volunteer Fire Department, Jake Barbour echoed Thomas’ sentiments.
“He is a brave young boy, no – young man,” says Barbour. “Thank you for your bravery.