Around Town

“Blaze” and “Pumper”assist in teaching fire safety to children

HUNTINGTON “Blaze”, a liver-colored Dalmatian and “Pumper”, a chocolate Siamese cat, spent the afternoon of November 15 at Littleville Elementary School, to help teach fire safety to students in Angela Dalton’s fourth grade classroom.
They were accompanied by their owner, “Fire Fighter Pam”—aka PVT Pamela Murphy of the Agawam Fire Department.
“Sad stories are very sad,” said Fire Fighter Pam. “But I’m here to prevent sad stories.”
She was true to her word, as students worked with her to create two routes out of a sample home for family members located in different parts of the house. She discussed the importance of having working (as in, change the batteries twice a year and test monthly) smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and how vital it is to have a family meeting place outside. And she stressed that no one was to go back in the house, not even for beloved pets.
“These animals are my babies,” she explained. “But no one goes back in the house except for trained firefighters with protective gear.”
Murphy told the children that she (and Blaze and Pumper) share a six room house that features nine smoke detectors.
As Blaze wandered through the classroom to capture all of the attention that was his due, and Pumper sat quietly on a desk or lap (wearing his “Fire Chief’s” uniform), Murphy donned her fire protective equipment and visited the children on her hands and knees. She wanted to demonstrate what the gear would look like and sound like, if a firefighter ever had to come get them.
Before closing, Murphy outlined a homework assignment for the students. They were to draw a map of the rooms in their home, identify two escape routes from their bedrooms, mark all smoke detectors with an X, and show where the family will meet outdoors if they ever have to evacuate.  The final step in the assignment was to review the plan with every member of the household, and have each person sign it.
Stakes are high for returning this assignment, as Fire Fighter Pam came bearing many gifts—activity books, white boards, fire safety tips, and—the item that REALLY drew the ooohs and aaahs of the students—“Blaze Pens”!

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