Junior Firefighter Camp teaches kids about fire safety
The Pembroke Public Library and the Pembroke Fire Department hosted their annual Junior Firefighter March Break Camp on March 17. Firefighter Matt Troutman taught the 10 participants about fire safety, fire prevention and what it's like being a firefighter. In back (left to right) are Pembroke Public Library children librarian Lioutsia Schizkoske, Dylan Knott-Allen, Logan Knott-Allen, Emily Dunfield, Madison Luxton, Sparky and Matt Troutman. In front (left to right) are Jared Mejia, Peter Gillies, Isaac Gillies, Rudra Patel, Devi Patel and Emmett Gillies.
If you ask a child who their heroes in the community are, they’ll likely mention the local firefighters.
Here in Pembroke, the firefighters live up to this high standard by bravely protecting the community on a daily basis while also making time for the youngsters that idolize them.
On March 17, the Pembroke Public Library hosted their annual March Break Junior Firefighter Camp which has been running for more than a decade in partnership with the Pembroke Fire Department.
10 participants, aged six to 10 took part in the morning session that gave them an up-close and personal look at the day-to-day life of a firefighter while also providing them with a good understanding of fire safety and prevention.
The day kicked off with an educational session at the library during which Firefighter Matt Troutman engaged the kids in an interactive discussion about home escape plans, the importance of changing smoke alarms two times a year and what they should do when an alarm or a smoke detector goes off.
After teaching them how to ‘stop, drop, and roll’, the kids engaged in a fire safety drill during which they imagined they were escaping from a fire as they put their skills to the test.
“A fire safety plan is knowing your two ways out of a building – so if you’re in your bedroom, if there's a fire downstairs how could you get out and once you’re out where is your safety zone outside,” said Troutman. “so I made a mini floor plan with tape and they practised a fire escape plan from a bedroom. Once they heard the 'beep beep beep' they had to stop and check the door, if the door was hot they had to go to their window and wave for a firefighter to come rescue them or stay low and crawl out of the door if it was safe.”
Thereafter, the kids watched an informative video featuring Sparky the Dog, during which the kids learned about the ABC’s of fire safety.
“Every letter of the Alphabet has a safety insignia to go with that corresponding letter. For example, E is for exit or A is for the alarm, B is for ' the beep beep beep of the smoke detector' and F is for 'find your meeting place',” said Troutman.
Once the kids had brushed up on their fire safety knowledge, they had the opportunity to climb into the fire truck, check out Troutman’s firefighting gear and conduct a rescue mission to retrieve a teddy bear from a dark, 'smoke' filled room.
“With the teddy bear activity, it gave them a chance to experience what it’s like being a firefighter going through a dark smoke-filled room,” said Troutman. “So they had to stay low and close to the wall and follow the wall until they found the teddy bear before coming back the same way.”
Troutman said that he was pleased by the participants’ enthusiasm to participate and eagerness to learn and he hopes that they share their newfound knowledge with their family.
“They were all fired up about it and they all wanted to be the first in line to do an activity,” said Troutman. “I just loved their enthusiasm and I hope that they implement what they learned back at home with their family.”