NEW KNOXVILLE — The New Knoxville/Washington Township Fire Department visited New Knoxville Local School Thursday to teach students about fire safety.
Students started the day with a fire drill. Throughout the day, classes viewed a video about different fire safety related topics and also had a lesson with the visiting fire department. At the end of the fire safety program, students were given informational material and a small gift.
Fifth and sixth-grade students viewed a coach burning in which firefighters lit two couches on fire so students could witness how quickly fire can spread.
The couch burning was one of the most popular events among the students.
“Burning the couch,” fifth-grade student Jared Naviello said of the best part of fire safety day.
While most students agreed the couch burning was the highlight of the morning, students also learned from experience.
“I saw what burning a couch can do,” fifth-grade student Hannah Neuman said. “It can go up in flames real fast.”
Sixth-grade students also got to participate in a fire extinguisher demonstration using the BullEx Fire Simulator.
The simulator consists of a screen that shows a fire and a fire extinguisher with a laser that simulates water putting out the fire. Lieutenant Jerry Merges spoke with sixth grade students about smoke detectors, the importance of having a fire escape plan and how to stop, drop and roll.
He also told the students about the PASS technique to use a fire extinguisher, which stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep. Sixth-grade student Naarah Butler was one of the students chosen to participate in the simulation and said it was helpful.
“It was kind of creepy because I didn’t want to go up there at first but I found myself raising my hand even though I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said. “Actually, it was fun when I started swinging it (the fire extinguisher). I didn’t know you have to have the pin pulled out completely to use it.”
Merges also told students about the three things that are needed to create a fire, the fire triangle, a point which his son, Nathan, thought was one of the most important things he learned.
“My dad told us about the fire triangle — oxygen, fuel and heat,” Nathan said.
Students took a variety of things from the information they were presented during fire safety day. Alicia Weadock learned about preventing fires.
“I learned about how to prevent fires from happening and spreading,” she said.
Noah Skaeura recited several things he learned.
“Get down low, don’t leave the stove and don’t put heaters next to anything that can catch on fire,” he said.
For more information on the New Knoxville/Washington Township Fire Department and fire safety, visit NKFire.net.