Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Students from Poland Union Elementary School handed fire fighters Abbie Buday, Chris Kothemer and Bill Ohara handmade thank-you cards on Oct. 26.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Pictured are, from left, (front) Luciano Ferraro, Vincenzo Ferraro, Giana May, Evalina Morales, Jackson Smith; (middle) Nina Larocca, Sophia Nolfi, Andrew Colla, Ski Yu Debow, Gavin Jones, Liam Ramsey; (back) Fire department educator Bill Ohara, Fire Fighters Chris Kotheemer, Abbie Buday, and Mike Welsh, along with educator George Brown and Captain Dave Chapman.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Fire Department Educator Bill Ohara quizzed Poland Union students on their fire safety knowledge on Oct. 26.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Poland Fire Department Educator Bill Ohara and Union Principal Mike Masucci talked with elementary school students on Oct. 26 at Fire Station 91 in Poland.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Principal Mike Masucci talked with students from Poland Union at the local Poland fire station where students traveled to say thank you to fire fighters for teaching them fire safety.
By JESSICA HARKER
Students from Poland Union Elementary School traveled to the local fire station to thank firefighters for coming to the school to teach them safety earlier in the year.
According to Bill O’Hara, an educator with the Poland Fire Department, the department spent at week at the school speaking with every student.
“We talked about how you don’t hide from the fire. We talked about smoke detectors and stop drop and roll if your clothes catch on fire,” O’Hara said.
He explained that its important to go to local elementary schools because the younger a child is when they learn these lessons, the safer they’ll be.
“They are so young and they have to start to learn,” O’Hara said. “If we can save the kids life by teaching them this stuff its all worth while.”
In appreciation of the time the department took to visit the school, ten Union students visited the station with handmade “thank you” cards for the firefighters.
Students gave the firefighters the cards, and thanked them personally for their hard work.
“They took a lot of time to be there with us and the kids loved it, they learned a lot,” said Mike Masucci, principal of Union Elementary.
After students handed over the cards, they went into the station with firefighters for a pizza party.
O’Hara quizzed students on the fire safety lessons they were taught and all the students answered eagerly.
“As they get older they remember, you get to the second-graders and they answer the questions,” O’Hara said.
The Poland Fire Department talks with 700 students per year, according to O’Hara.
“It pays off,” O’Hara said. “We don’t have the fires, the guys blame me for not getting calls.”
He said that he often runs into parents to tell him their student has taken the lesson home, making sure the family has a fire plan and that the smoke alarms in the house all work.
“They [parents] always say ‘Oh I know you were at the school again, we had to run drills,’ which is so great, they really understand the lessons,” O’Hara said.