A group of Greater Trail elementary school students had a day to remember as the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Department kicked off Fire Prevention Week with its Fire Chief for a Day event on Friday.
Students from six local schools were chosen to participate in the event to help promote fire awareness.
Last month, firefighters visited schools to preach the message of fire prevention and gave each student, from kindergarten to Grade 4, a chance to enter their name for a draw to be fire chief for a day.
Five students, Connor Drake a Grade 1 student from Fruitvale Elementary; Taylor Leyland, a Grade 3 student from Webster School; Reuben Demmier, a Grade 2 student from Rossland school; Lucy Peters, a Grade 1 student from Glenmerry School; Hanna Krampl, a Grade 1 student from Rossland’s french immersion program, took part in the day. A sixth student was selected, Kendal Derosa of St. Michael’s School, but was unable to attend.
The day began with each student getting a ride to the regional firehall aboard a fire truck. A tour of the facility, snacks and a demonstration of some of the equipment made for a busy morning for the enthusiastic young chiefs.
“The kids have a blast,” said fire fighter Kyle Boutin.
He explained the Fire Chief for a Day program and school demonstrations help educate kids about the safety and people involved in fighting fires.
“It gets them familiar with our gear so if we show up at their house they’re not afraid of us.”
He explained that familiarity allows young children to approach the firemen trying to help them evacuate from a potentially dangerous situation.
Boutin said they review fire escape plans with kids and allow them to see what goes on behind the scenes at the firehall.
Of course, the young chiefs have a slightly different perspective on what they took from the day.
“I liked everything,” said Peters. Leyland preferred “the big fire trucks,” while Demmier enjoyed touring the fire rescue boat.
Krampl said “seeing all the equipment,” was a memorable part of her day.
However, Drake had a more gastronomical delight from the day.
“I liked having the doughnuts.”
The chiefs also got a goodie bag that focused on this year’s message “preventing kitchen fires.”
The package included various items for kids but a few things for a kitchen, like measuring cups and a pot holder, that feature fire prevention mottos.
“Our goal is to spread the word on fire prevention,” added fireman Jason Langham.
“This allows the kids to see the equipment and see what we do.”