Hometown heroes: EFD teaches young readers about fire safety

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Stop, drop and roll!

Young readers at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library learned about fire safety when firefighters Robert Hatcher and Skylar Cole from the Elizabethton Fire Department visited during the first Summer Reading Program session Tuesday morning.

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The Summer Reading Program’s theme this year is “Superheroes,” and the ECCPL’s roster of events is filled with visits from a variety of local hometown heroes, including firefighters.

The children learned about the importance of smoke detectors and the need to have an emergency family plan in case of fire at their homes. They were told to have a place to meet outside away from the home so everyone would know where the other family members were.

The young readers were taught the proper method to “stop, drop and roll” in case their clothes were to ever catch on fire. Hatcher told the children to cover their faces while rolling, and to roll until their clothes were extinguished.

Cole also dressed in the department’s turnout gear to show the young readers at the library what a firefighter would look like if they ever had to enter their home to fight a fire.

“We don’t want you to be afraid of us,” Hatcher told the group at the library. “We are there to help you, and we don’t want you to hide if you see us.”

The young readers felt they had picked up some important safety skills during the first Summer Reading session.

“You have to stop, drop and roll,” Jasmine O’Hara said. “You have got to listen to the firemen.”

Carter Reece decided he was going to handle a fire emergency a little differently.

“If I’m on fire, I’m getting in the water,” he said. “The firemen have a suit that protects them. They put it on and they’re safe.”

Ryleigh McNeal believed the firefighters were a good choice for the first “hero” Summer Reading session.

“They are brave,” she said. “They’re heroes.”

The firefighters determined the young children done well with their fire safety skills and named them all “junior firefighters.” The children were given plastic firefighter hats and a firefighter’s badge sticker.