The spray from the nozzle creates a unique mosaic effect as firefighter Dan McKenna helps second grade students learn how to activate a fire hose nozzle.

Fire Prevention Week sessions focus on pre-school, Kindergarten, and 1st and 2nd grade students. For the second-graders participating in the sessions for the final time, Fire Prevention Week means a tour of the Vinton Fire Station.

Those tours took place on Wednesday, when children and their teachers saw how smoke rises to the top of the room (and then crawled away, as they should if the ever need to flee a burning building). They also had a first-hand look at the vehicles in the VFD fleet, and a chance to ask questions about those trucks. A more recent addition to the tradition is learning how to spray a fire hose. Aided by a firefighter, the children learned how to properly hold the nozzle and how to activate the water stream. Firefighter Dan McKenna did most of those demonstrations, showing the children how the hose can vary in stream and spray styles, and how one setting can help force smoke out of a building while spraying water into it.

Since second grade is the last time they will have formal class time with firefighters, the students review the same lessons they learned in first grade, Kindergarten and pre-school:

Make sure to talk to your parents to make your home smoke detectors are working, and check the batteries.

“Stop, drop, and roll.”

Call 9-1-1.

Don’t play with matches.

Smoke and heat go up, so if you have to escape a fire, “get low, and go.”

Know your family’s safe place to meet away from your house, after a fire.

On Tuesday, the firefighters visited the school. On Wednesday, they welcomed the second-graders for tours. On Thursday morning they will visit pre-schools and at around noon, begin offering rides at Tilford.

Shellsburg Elementary students will receive a visit from that town’s firefighters on Friday, although pre-schoolers will meet them in class on Thursday.

Questions children ask

Several students on Tuesday at Tilford ask another important question, one that fire departments all over are hoping to hear: “How can I become  a firefighter when I grow up?”

Many children also had the opportunity to try on a firefighter’s jacket, helmet or gloves, and to feel how heavy the air pack that firefighters carry is, and feel the air coming out of the mouthpiece.

The week continues with visits to the fire station for second-graders, as well as the favorite: Fire truck rides on Thursday in Vinton. At Shellsburg Elementary, the students will meet firefighters on Friday.

See photos of Tuesday’s lessons, with many pictures of firefighters and children learning and laughing together, HERE.

See Wednesday’s photos of the fire station tour, trucks and hose lessons HERE.

Thank You, ALL Benton County Fire Departments!