Fire safety

Firefighter Hunter Smith crawls through a crowd of students so they can feel his gear at the Halstead Elementary fire prevention program Oct. 11.

In recognition of Fire Prevention Month, Halstead Elementary School in Copperas Cove held an assembly to educate students on proper safety and fire procedures.

“This is something that we put in our campus profile because children need to learn about safety in an emergency,” said first-grade teacher Rebecca Miller.

“They need to learn that the firefighters, police and EMT are trusted adults, so if they have a problem, they know who to call for help.”

To familiarize students with some of their emergency equipment, Cove firefighters showed students their gear and discussed basic fire safety.

The rules of fire safety are very simple, but a lot of people don’t think about them on a daily basis, said Michael Fleming, deputy chief and fire marshal.

“The faster we can ingrain this in our children ... it hopefully will become a part of their everyday lives and they’ll adhere to it,” he said. “The goal is just to keep everybody safe and keep them from being injured.”

Firefighter Hunter Smith said children need to know what happens when a fire comes, and they need to know not to be afraid of firefighters.

To ease that fear, Smith, dressed head to toe in gear, crawled through the crowd of children on the floor of the gymnasium as they took turns touching the safety equipment.

Outside, the students’ excitement was barely contained as Cove Fire Department Lt. James Bednar gave a guided tour of the station’s Engine 2.

“Don’t be afraid when you see one of these coming down the street,” he said.

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