Emergency medical technicians and firefighters from Harpswell’s three fire departments teach students about fire prevention at Harpswell Community School on Oct. 11. From left, Paige Campano, Rosie Buonaiuto, Noah Bradbury, Meriel Longley, Aaron Despres, Scott Holowach, Jeff Christie, Peter Melroy and Chris Manos. (John Goff photo)
October was National Fire Prevention Month, and Harpswell’s three fire departments focused on raising awareness among the town’s youngest residents.
On Oct. 11, firefighters and emergency medical technicians from the departments convened at Harpswell Community School, bringing fire trucks, equipment and hands-on learning tools. A crew of nine worked with kindergartners and first graders.
Five learning and discovery areas were set up to introduce the children to firefighting and fire awareness.
The children viewed fire trucks with their exterior compartments open to expose equipment and gear, such as suits, helmets, masks and oxygen tanks, the use of which was described by firefighters. Students were allowed to put on helmets and firefighting jackets in order to feel their weight.
Indoors, the children used a mock fire extinguisher to put out a simulated fire on a screen. The screen recorded how long it took each child to extinguish the fire.
Demonstrations were performed by firefighters and practiced by the children. One was the “stop, drop and roll” maneuver for anyone whose clothes have caught fire. In another, students crawled to safety under ribbons tied to traffic cones.