Students from local elementary schools were selected to participate in the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue’s Fire Chief for a Day program.  Ling gets some help from David Como as she suits up in a fireman’s protective clothing.

Students from local elementary schools were selected to participate in the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue’s Fire Chief for a Day program. Ling gets some help from David Como as she suits up in a fireman’s protective clothing.

Local students get feel for firefighter’s role

Fire Prevention Week starts Oct. 9

What is the most exciting way for a third grader to end the first month back to school?

For five elementary school students, it was being selected as the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Fire Chief for a Day.

On Friday, Ben Robitaille of MacLean Elementary, Alex Salsiccioli of St Michael’s, Tucker Lysek from Glenmerry Elementary, Michael Aikenhead of Fruitvale Elementary and Aila Ling of Webster Elementary were picked up at their respective schools by a fire truck and whisked away for a day at the fire hall.

The students were chosen by raffle in their respective schools. The fire department put ballot boxes in the five district elementary schools and each student filled out a ballot, then the winners were drawn in a raffle.

At the fire hall, the students learned the duties and responsibilities of being a firefighter.

Fireman David Como engaged the kids with a hands on approach to donning the fireman’s gear with breathing apparatus.

“He sounds like Darth Vader” said Robitaille after Como talked to the kids through full face gear.

Fireman Jason Milne set up the day with a fire-safety cartoon video, a junior firefighter obstacle course and a demonstration with the water hose.

“The best part of the day was putting on the clothes,” added Ling.

The students were also the first to see a new teaching tool named Sparky the Robot – a remote controlled fire truck with Sparky the mascot sitting inside. Sparky is complete with lights and sounds that can easily grab a nine-year-old’s  attention.

Fireman Grant Tyson said Sparky is being used to teach this year’s motto, “Stay Smart and Don’t Get Burned.”

The annual Fire Prevention Week kicks off on Oct. 9.