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Education works

Fire safety talks lead to tangible results

Minden firefighters visited J.A. Phillips Elementary School Thursday to talk to students about fire safety. This is the sixth year the fire department has visited the schools to educate students.

Students first talked with Captain Wesley Mandino about the importance of knowing their address. They then went outside and received demonstrations and took a look inside of a fire truck with firefighter Adam Bradley. Finally, the students watched a video on fire safety. The students were also sent home with a fire hat and some information about fire safety.

“We’ve seen an almost 40% decrease in our fires since we started this type of program so it’s beneficial and they retain it year to year. It sticks with them and makes a huge difference,” Captain Mandino said.

Students were excited to see school counselor Ahsaki Thomas climb the fire truck ladder and work the controls for the ladder.

“Fire safety is important for our kids because it helps them to know what to do if there is a situation involving fire and this is a fun and interactive way for them to see how the truck works and talk to firemen as well as learn the important steps that they must take,” Thomas said.

Seeing the kids cheer, laugh and learn was agreed to be the best part for the firefighters and Ms. Thomas.

“My favorite part is seeing the kids enjoy it; the smiles, the cheers,” Thomas said.

She encouraged parents to talk with their kids about what to do in case of an emergency as well.

It’s important the kids know fire safety at home and not just at school. Make sure they know their address and if they are in a situation they know how to dial 9-1-1 and how to tell them where they’re located,” Thomas said.

The firefighters are also scheduled to visit J.L. Jones on Friday and some preschools in the area. They also give classes to adults in the area through community organizations.

“We give adult classes through the council on aging and other types of services. So if they want a fire class like this about smoke detectors and other services, fire safety isn’t just for kids,” Mandino said.