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Pupils taught fire safety

Firefighters visit Karaffa elementary

November 2, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

TORONTO - City firefighters recently visited pupils at Karaffa Elementary School to show them how to remain safe during a structure fire.

Firefighters Ryan Boyd and Bill Scheel joined volunteer firefighter John Sciance to teach youngsters in preschool through fifth grade what to do during a fire, according to city fire Chief Frank McEwen.

"This is our annual fire safety program," said McEwen, adding the program has included firefighters visiting Toronto City Schools since the 1980s. "This year we also had Kazaam the Fire Safety Man from the National Fire Safety Council (assist)."

Article Photos

SAFETY-FIRST — Toronto firefighters recently visited Karaffa Elementary School to teach pupils about fire safety. Those involved were, from left, Ryan Boyd, Toronto firefighter; pupils Amelia Taggart, Chloe Fisher, Tannar Newbold, Parker Williamson, and volunteer firefighter John Sciance; middle, pupil Pax Frey; and top, pupil Raine Woolmaker and firefighter Bill Scheel. - Contributed

The program includes teaching basic fire safety rules using materials such as coloring books and other educational materials, according to McEwen. Pupils also are taught "an updated version of 'Learn Not to Burn,'" said the chief. "This is a program funded by local businesses."

Pupils also are taught not to play with matches or lighters, as well as "about what to look for to stay safe during a fire at home," said McEwen, adding pupils learn about stove safety. "Loose clothing (catching on fire) is a big issue. A lot of adults have been burned because of loose clothing near open flames.

"Pupils also are taught what to do in case of a fire at their house," continued McEwen, adding pupils learn how to formulate an escape plan with their parents. "They should have a safe area where everyone can meet and know they are all out of the structure. If they can't get out of the structure, they are taught to go to a safe place in the house and wait for rescue. They also are told not to be afraid of firefighters (during a rescue)."

Pupils were shown firefighting equipment, including a demonstration of the department's ladder truck, McEwen added.

"We want to thank all the businesses and individuals who gave donations to the National Fire Safety Council's Fire Pup Program," said the chief, adding the department uses the program guidelines for its instruction.

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