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First-Graders tour Vestal Fire Station 1
October is Fire Safety Month, and this year's theme is "Every Second Counts... Plan Two Ways Out!" Clayton Avenue first-graders made their annual field trip to Vestal Fire Station 1 on October 23. Sparky the Fire Dog and other Vestal Fire Department personnel welcomed them and gave them a tour of the fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. They also shared important tips about fire prevention and asked the students to remind their families about good fire safety practices: 
  • Test smoke alarms every month and change batteries regularly.
  • Plan two ways out of your house in the case of a fire or other emergency.
  • Have a family meeting place outside the house, preferably near the street so that responding fire department personnel can see you and know that you got out of the house safely.
    Never, ever, go back inside the house. If uncertain that a family pet got out safely, tell the firefighters, and they will look for the pet when they are inside the house.
Cognizant that sometimes children are frightened by the way a firefighter looks and sounds when dressed in full gear and breathing apparatus, one of the firefighters donned his gear so that the kids could see and hear him. He went around the room, high-fiving every student as Fire Educator Ken Fortier told the students that firefighters are there to help them and they should not be afraid.

Before they left, students had fun touring the fire trucks in the station's garage and learning about the equipment that the firefighters use to do their job.