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Students practice fire safety drill

Staff Reporter

East Carbon fire department training officer Earl Halton demonstrates emergency equipment for second graders at Peterson Elementary in Sunnyside on Oct. 10. Firefighters from East Carbon and Sunnyside spent the day teaching the students safety techniques and familiarizing the students with emergency procedures.

East Carbon and Sunnyside fire fighters recently joined efforts to educate Petersen Elementary students on the dangers of fire and the importance of being prepared.

Many sponsors from the area chipped in to make the day memorable for the youth.

One student from each grade won a bicycle and every youngster received a bike helmet and a fire safety activity bag.

As part of the day's educational activities, the emergency personnel from the two cities went over the basic procedures of fire safety with the elementary school participants.

"You kind of drill it into their heads," said fireman Jake Taylor.

The students were able to see a full-dressed fireman and hear the individual's voice while on the respirator.

Sunnyside Chief Bill Jackson said, by exposing children to fire fighters in full gear, the youngsters learn not to be afraid in an emergency situation.

Students had an opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in the Utah Fire Marshal's Life Safety House.

The safety house is a portable trailer set up like a home and filled with examples of fire hazards.

Peterson students were able to tour the trailer and identify household items that are dangerous such as an exposed wire, a gun, hot containers of food on a stove and a curling iron in a sink.

The specially equipped trailer was filled with fake smoke and the children were able to practice a fire-drill, remembering to stay low and crawl to the nearest exit.

In addition to the presentations, the students worked with parents to make maps of their homes and review exits and meeting places in case of an emergency.

Volunteers man the Sunnyside and East Carbon fire departments. Sunnyside has 15 volunteers and East Carbon has 12.

"We don't get paid but when you get the kids coming up and giving you a hug, it pays for your day," pointed out training officer Earl Halton.

The departments hope the annual presentation will help kids to be better prepared in an fire situation.

"It's just a good thing," concluded Chief Jackson. "If you could save one life, it's well worth it."

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