Fire departments team up to teach kids safety

What do reading, basketball and fire safety have in common? The triple combination led to a reward for students at Noah’s Ark Pre-School in Excelsior Springs.
Firefighters from Richmond and Excelsior Springs partnered to present an interactive assembly to 35 preschoolers that included a basketball/inspirational talk and fire safety program.
“For the last three years, I’ve done a basketball program for them as a reward to their Read Across America program,” said Richmond firefighter Rob Kinnard. “I put on my Globetrotter program in the morning and my fireman uniform after lunch.”
Kinnard left Richmond in the Camp Kinnard Basketball van with fellow firefighter Mark Sowder bringing the Fire Safety trailer.
In two separate sessions, the firefighters talked about the basics of fire prevention, fire safety, how to identify hazards and then showed a video, “Red Rover, Red Rover, Grownup Come Over.”
“If the kids recognize a hazard, they sing the song to an adult,” Kinnard said. “The kids really got into it. We also talked about a fire escape plan in their home and gave them color books that discussed smoke alarms, how to check a door if it’s hot and to know your escape route. They also went through the Fire Safety trailer where they learned to ‘get low and go,’ and ‘get out and stay out.”
Next, the Excelsior Springs firefighters, Tyler Hobb and Nathan Davis, showed the children the personal protective gear. They told the children they should never hide, if there is a fire in their home, or be afraid of a fireman wearing his protective gear because he’s there to help them. Kinnard said the children were encouraged to touch the equipment and some of them even hugged the firefighters.
“We just want them to know that underneath all of this protective gear is a regular guy,” said Kinnard. “It made us feel really good when the kids told us we were ‘heroes.’”
Kinnard was very excited about joining efforts with the Excelsior Springs firefighters.
“Fire prevention is such a vital tool to teach our children and our youth, as well as the adults. It’s great to see fire departments willing to teach and instill these valuable lessons in our kids,” said Kinnard. “I’m really excited about the partnership being formed with different departments on fire prevention and safety.”
Photo: Richmond and Excelsior Springs firefighters teamed up to teach preschoolers at Noah’s Ark Preschool in Excelsior Springs about fire prevention and fire safety. Richmond firefighter Rob Kinnard and Assistant Fire Chief Mark Sowder opened the special assembly and took the children through the Fire Safety Trailer. Kinnard also did a basketball segment. The Excelsior Springs firefighters Nathan Davis and Tyler Hobb, pictured above, demonstrated putting on the fire gear, and talked to the children about not being afraid of a fireman in his gear and they are there to help them. (Photo by Rob Kinnard)

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