Local firefighters teach safety to Denison students


Fire Prevention Day on Denison ISD elementary campuses is beyond exciting. Most of the kids have never experienced an up-close look at the shiny red trucks, touched the giant hoses and ladders, met a real-life firefighter or received a hug from Sparky, the firefighter’s mascot.

“It is awesome to see the looks on the kids’ faces when they get to see and touch the equipment, learn how it’s used in real-life situations, and what they can do to help keep themselves and their families safe,” said Houston Elementary Principal Kyle Uber. “We’re very grateful to our firefighters for bringing this interactive learning experience to our school.”

Each year during Fire Prevention Month, the firefighters arrive fully dressed in their uniforms, ready to answer the kids’ many questions – like how high the ladders can reach, how much water can flow through the hoses, how hot the fires get, how dangerous the job is and how long it takes to put out fires. The firefighters also give the kids fire safety lessons on the proper use of plugs, wires, extension cords, indoor heaters and other devices that can cause fires. Last but not least, the firefighters always emphasize the importance of having smoke detectors in homes, making sure they work…and establishing a family escape plan.

“These firefighters are our children’s heroes, and we’re always excited to have them visit,” said Mayes Principal Natalie Hicks. “Our teachers use this interactive learning experience to implement lesson plans that combine reading, writing, social studies and other subjects with fire safety. They write about the good character traits they see in firefighters and the meaning of vocabulary words that pertain to fire safety. They also learn how to work together in a community to prevent fires from happening.”

Lamar teacher Candace Fulenchek said her first graders loved the learning experience, start to finish. “We read books and had discussions about fire safety prior to the arrival of the fire truck…then the students wrote descriptive essays about what they learned.”

The artwork and writings of Fulenchek’s students are proudly displayed outside her classroom. “Firefighters have a helmet and it is red…and black gloves…and a coat so fire won’t get on them,” wrote Presley. Another student, Brantley, wrote about the firefighters’ uniforms as well, adding that “firefighters also have an ax.”

“Our teachers are very creative,” said Hicks. “Every moment is a teaching moment...especially interactive ones like these! Thanks, Denison firefighters, for partnering with our schools and our kids…and for all you do for our community. We appreciate you!”

A Denison firefighter answered a question from a young student during a recent Fire Prevention and Safety program at Mayes Elementary. “Our teachers use this interactive learning experience to implement lesson plans that combine reading, writing, social studies and other subjects with fire safety,” said Mayes Principal Natalie Hicks. “Our teachers are very creative. … Every moment is a teaching moment!”

Mayes elementary students huddle with Sparky, the Denison Fire Department’s mascot, after learning about fire prevention and safety from local first responders.

First graders in Candace Fulenchek’s classroom at Lamar Elementary gathered beneath the art/writing projects they created during October’s Fire Safety Month.

Eager Mayes students asked local firefighters questions about the hoses, ladders and other equipment on their firetrucks. “These firefighters are our children’s heroes, and we’re always excited to have them bring their fire safety program to our students,” said Mayes Principal Natalie Hicks.

A group of Houston elementary students visited with Sparky, the Denison Fire Department’s mascot, while another group finished a tour of the shiny red firetruck during the school’s annual Fire Safety Day.


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