CES Students Learn Fire Safety

Teaching a batch of Carrie Gaudette's Kindergartners about the ins and outs of the ladder truck is Calais Fireman Billy Pulk on Thursday, October 12th. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson


The students of kindergarten through the third grade at Calais Elementary School have learned some important skills in the past week thanks to the crew of Calais Fire-EMS. As part of the nationally-celebrated Fire Prevention Week, the students toured the fire station and took part in various activities to improve their understanding of fire safety. 

At the fire station, students were able to see the fire trucks up close and see where the firemen ride on their way to fires. They learned how long the ladder of the ladder truck is – 77’ – and how loud fire trucks could be when there is an emergency. Firefighter Billy Pulk gave a homework assignment to each student to ensure that their home address is clearly visible. 

Inside the station, students practiced how to stop, drop, and roll, as well as how to crawl low underneath imaginary smoke while yelling “Fire!” as loud as they could. When everyone’s hearing recovered, Fire Chief Ken Clark introduced the students to a fully-dressed fireman. “This is what a fireman looks like when he comes to help you,” Chief Clark said. “That way you won’t be scared of him.” Chief Clark assigned homework to the students, too, advising them to “know two ways out” and to have their parents test their smoke detectors once a month. 

Calais has a combined Fire and EMS station and the crews often work side by side throughout the day. As a result, students also had the opportunity to tour an ambulance and to have their pulses taken with pulse oximeters to familiarize themselves with the EMS safety crew and its procedures. 

At the end of the visit, Chief Clark presented the students with the contents of a bag of gifts and a plastic fireman’s hat. The bag contained a fire station fun book with coloring pages, crayons, Band-Aids, a themed refrigerator magnet, fire department badge stickers, a pencil, and temporary tattoos (the revelation of which elicited the most enthusiastic response from the children). All the students received their own personal bag and hat once they arrived back at the school.

On Thursday, the local Bear Cub Scouts troop also received a personalized tour of the station. The civic-minded scouts particularly enjoyed being able to see the fire trucks both inside and out. 

On Saturday night, the fire crew opened up its doors to host a children’s movie night in the truck bay. Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue was shown to maintain the theme of fire prevention while helping the attendees feel more comfortable with the station’s fire safety personnel and equipment.

“Anytime we can get them in to teach them fire safety, it’s a good thing,” Chief Clark said. “Fire prevention week is something where we try to encourage them to practice and at least get a sense of what’s going to happen if there is a fire.”

Encouraging students to crawl low underneath the smoke while yelling "Fire!" is Calais Fire Chief Ken Clark during Fire Prevention Week. (Photo by Lura Jackson)