Focusing on fire prevention education, firefighters are visiting Frankfort schools as well as Heritage Christian Preschool and Learning Ladder Daycare during Fire Prevention Week this week to reach approximately 3,500 students with fire prevention presentations and fire drills.
According to Fire Chief John Kirby, this year’s theme is Every Second Counts, Plan Two Ways Out.
“It’s never too early to educate our youth on smart, safe escape measures in the event of a fire, with our outreach efforts ranging from little ones in preschool to high school students. Youngsters are eager to learn and often are the ones who help family members create escape plans and designate pre-arranged outdoor meeting locations as part of a proactive approach to keep everyone safe.
“Fire Prevention Week is designed to share information and practical activities for our students and school staffs, including valuable opportunities for our very young students to meet and become comfortable with our firefighters in full gear so they learn not to be afraid of us, but that we are here to help them in case of a fire,” Kirby said.
Wearing their gear, firefighters visited preschoolers on Monday to show them the fire engine and talk about fire prevention. On Tuesday, children at Learning Ladder Daycare at the YMCA will receive the same presentation.
Firefighters are taking their smoke house to Green Meadows Elementary on Wednesday and to Suncrest Elementary on Thursday. Then on Friday, they will be at Frankfort High School, middle school, and Blue Ridge Elementary to wrap up the week.
“We believe children are not the only ones who should focus on fire prevention, with our team encouraging all Frankfort residents to use Fire Prevention Week as an opportunity to check the batteries in smoke detectors and to replace detectors if they are older than 10 years.
“Since 2015, our firefighters with boots on the ground have worked in partnership with the Clinton County American Red Cross Chapter and community volunteers to install approximately 3,400 smoke alarms throughout Frankfort. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have working smoke alarms in every home.
“In addition to our smoke alarm blitzes, through our Safer Seniors Program we offer free fire safety inspections and smoke detector checks for Frankfort’s senior citizens and those physically challenged in our community. All anyone has to do to take advantage of the program is simply call us at 765-654-4329 for a free appointment.
“During our fire safety inspection, we will make suggestions – where appropriate – for any safety enhancements such as not having too many plugs in one outlet. There are never any fines issued. It’s a 30-minute, no-cost service designed to help keep our most cherished and vulnerable residents safer,” Kirby said..
National Fire Prevention Week was established on the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 by the International Fire Marshals Association who determined the week-long commemoration should occur annually in the week that includes October 9, the date the fire did the most damage. More than 250 people were killed with 100,000 left homeless while more than 17,400 structures were destroyed and more than 2,000 acres burned in that tragedy.