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Rugby fire department visits schools for Fire Prevention Week

By Staff | Oct 14, 2016

Fireman Riley Schaan, with assistance from Fireman Danny Raymond, demonstrates the amount of gear and sounds so students know what to expect if they are ever faced with needing rescue.

Fire Prevention Week kicked off Tuesday, October 11, with the Rugby Fire Department visiting Ely Elementary and Little Flower School.

The department visited with students in kindergarten through grade 3 at Ely in the morning, showing them what a fireman in full gear looks like.

Students in grades 4-6 were taken to the Rugby Fire Hall for a tour of the facility, trucks and gear. The department showcased an enclosed trailer filled with non-toxic smoke that the kids could run through to see how it would feel to be in an actual fire.

In the afternoon, the fire department visited Little Flower School. There, they discussed the fire extinguisher and how to use it properly.

“This year, we partnered with a company out of Winnipeg, Community Safety Net,” Fire Chief Will Griffin said. “Their big focus is on child safety during Fire Prevention Week.”

The company designed activity books special to the Rugby Fire Department that include a DVD and completion certificates. Kids can complete each activity and then ask any fireman to sign off on their checklists. The books also include a link to a website that parents can help their children go on for more interactivity. Once online, there is a chance for children to enter to win an iPad.

The fire department also offered a coloring contest to the elementary school aged children. The winners of that contest will move forward in the competition to the state level, held in Bismarck.

“It’s a really neat deal for the kids,” Griffin said. “My favorite part is actually going to the schools. That’s the best part because the kids enjoy it so much. It’s about making the whole community aware, but I personally like to focus on the children a little bit more.”

The students at both schools were able to take rides in the fire trucks, learn about what to do and where to go in the case of a fire, and ask questions.

“I think a lot of the guys [on the department] enjoy having the kids come out because the kids come up with just the craziest questions,” Griffin said. “It will stump some of the guys that have been on the department for 20 years.”

Griffin was voted chief this past January and is still getting used to the different position. “It’s way different,” he said. “I’m used to being one of the guys that runs and jumps in a truck and goes right away, and I can’t do that anymore. I still find myself running to the hall to be one of the first ones on a truck.”

Tuesday’s activities wrapped up in the evening with the Firemen’s Open House held at the fire hall. Community members were able to meet new department members, see the department’s new trucks and check out the fire equipment. The open house also included barbeque and a chili cook off.

The focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week was to make sure that all residents are checking the date on their smoke alarms. “[Smoke alarms] actually have an expiration date,” Griffin said. “They tell you they’re only good for 10 years. If they’re even close to the 10-year mark, it’s a good idea to replace them they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to anymore. That’s our biggest thing this year, is focusing on that.”

On Monday, November 7, the Rugby Fire Department will be offering smoke alarm checking services. Community members can call the fire hall and have firemen come to their homes to check and/or change batteries in their smoke alarms. The department will be providing more information on this event towards the end of the month.

For community members looking to replace their smoke alarms, Hardware Hank carries a wide selection.

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