By Deb Henton, superintendent of North Branch schools—
Last week our students, especially our elementary students, received a very important education, but not from their teachers. Last Thursday and Friday, students learned of the importance of fire safety and prevention. If you have ever suffered a burn, or experienced a family member or friend who has had to recover from burns, you know there are few more painful injuries.
Last week elementary students learned about the proper use of 911 and pledged not to play with matches, candles, or other things that could result in fire-related injury to themselves or loved ones.
They learned how to react in the event of a fire; “stop, drop, and roll,” “stay low and go,” “once out, stay out,” and the importance of establishing a meeting place well back from their home prior to the need for one.
Students were explained the importance of sleeping with their bedroom door closed to keep smoke out of their room, giving them precious time to escape through a window in the event of a blaze.
North Branch firefighters dressed out in full gear to allow the students to get used to them so, in the event of a fire, they will not be afraid by the appearance of firefighters in their home.
Perhaps most importantly, students were reminded that batteries in smoke detectors should be changed twice a year. The best way to prevent injury from fire is early warning.
Most adults remember learning fire safety as children and they more than likely learned about it in school. It is information that is no less important than those subjects students are tested on annually.
Our North Branch Fire Department does an excellent job educating our kids and deserves a debt of gratitude from all of us for the time and dedication they put into making us safer.
— Deb Henton is superintendent of North Branch Area School District 138