OLPH students practice fire safety
“Stop, drop, and roll!” shouted benches full of uniformed children at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School on Santee Road in Bethlehem this past Thursday. They were repeating the refrain from Fire Officer Jeff Owens’ song about fire safety.
The class, presented by Owens Public Education Coordinator for Koorsen Fire & Security, was good, but besides getting some valuable advice, the kids got a chance to pet his two black Labrador retriever dogs, Kali and Kasey.
Kali and Kasey, being stars in their own right with a little help from their handler, Officer Owens, showed the kids how to practice fire safety—always sleep with the bedroom door closed because most people who die in a fire die from smoke; feel the door to see if its warm before opening it (if the door’s not hot, go out); crawl on the floor to safety in a smoke filled room; to “get out and stay out” of a burning building and to “go to a safe place then count noses.”
“If you are still in the house when the fire fighters come, don’t hide from them,” cautioned Owens as Kali and Kasey nodded their agreement. “Yell and scream. Make as much noise as you can.”
And change the fire alarm’s batteries two times a year.
The enthusiastic children also learned a little about dogs: “Their noses are 250 million times better than a human’s; they can tell the difference between each one of you.”
Kasey is 6 years old, has a badge, and “is considered to be a firefighter.”
Kali is 2 years old, still a puppy and learning, but barks “hello” in response to kids yelling “Hello, Kali!”
Officer Jeff finished his hour-long presentation with some moral advice to include, “Your choices affect those around you.”
In an interview after Officer Jeff finished his class, student Kamryn Gallis said she enjoyed the presentation.
“I liked when the dogs played dead,” she said referring to one of the tricks the dogs did. “It was cool.”
Matthew Shields also liked the “dead dog” trick, but also remembered some of the lesson. “If there is smoke, get on the floor. If you are on fire, stop, drop, and roll.”
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School has 271 kindergarten through eighth grade kids according to Advancement Director Robin Nieto.
Nieto explained some of the charitable work that the students were involved with. When one of the teachers let it be known that the teacher had family in Rockport, Texas, which had been hit by the recent hurricane, the students started a collection to help the children there at the Sacred Heart Elementary School northeast of Corpus Christi.