Published 4:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Stop, drop and roll. It’s a simple process, but knowing when to do it and when not to do it is the key.
Monday, firemen from the Goshen Fire Department taught students at Goshen Elementary School about fire safety, what firemen do and what to do when you hear a fire alarm.
“There are so many kids that don’t hear a smoke alarm when it goes off at 2 a.m.,” said Shane Chance with the Goshen Fire Department, who taught the class. “The number of deaths is ungodly. If a kid knows what the alarm sounds like, they can at least know that the sound means to get out.”
Chance said while kids understand the stop, drop and roll procedure, most of them don’t know the proper time to use it.
“The stop, drop and roll procedure is confusing to the kids because a lot of kids think they know abut it, but if they burn their finger or hear a fire alarm, they want to stop, drop and roll,” Chance said. “They need to know the difference between when to do it and when not to do it. It can be very dangerous if they don’t know when to do it.”
Chance also wanted to show the students that fireman are not scary and are only there to help.
“A fireman is ugly and scary,” Chance laughed, “But he or she is there to help them.”
Part of the day was focused on teaching autistic children the importance of fire safety, as well.
“Autistic children do not like change,” Chance said. “It is just part of their nature. If you show an autistic child a fireman dressed in full gear in a non-hazardous environment, then, when it does get hazardous, the child will be okay.”
The students were also able to go inside of a fire truck and view all of the tools that are used on duty.
Chance, as well as the other fireman who helped, are all volunteers. No one at the Goshen Fire Department is paid to do what he does.
“We took the time out of our schedules to teach the kids about fire safety,” Chance said. “We do it because we love them.”
This time of year is a prime time to share all of this information, because winter is known for having more house fires, according to Chance.
“In the winter time, people will start burning fire places,” Chance said. “Most of our house fires are in the winter time because of space heaters and fireplaces.
With this season coming up, Chance said he hopes the students will understand the importance of everything they learned that day.
“If one person soaks it in, that is one life we could have saved,” Chance said. “I would rather show these kids in here, than for them to go through the traumatic experience of me coming into their bedroom in the middle of the night trying to get them out of a fire.”