SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Fire stations across Western Massachusetts ended National Fire Prevention week with open houses and lessons for children about fire safety.
“I learned about firefighters that when there’s a fire, they get the fire engine and then spray some water,” said 6-year-old Abram Vega of Springfield. He could tell you stories for days about how to stay safe in a fire. He learned it by listening to fire trucks and firefighters, and pretending there was a fire in his home. “Is anybody trapped in the house?” asked a firefighter, pretending to be a 911 dispatch. “Yes, my Dad,” Abram was told to say. He learned from Springfield firefighters at their Mason Square Fire Station open house. It was one of many across Western Massachusetts Saturday to wrap up National Fire Prevention Week.
“Fire is a major preventable occurrence, so if we get our education messages out to the community, then maybe we can decrease the number of fires we have and also the number of fire injuries and fatalities that we see,” said Christian Lewis, a Springfield firefighter who also does fire inspections and fire education. He said this time of year, people are starting to heat their homes and fire chances increase. Lewis said Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the busiest days for fires nationwide.
They showed children trucks, equipment, and even a mobile house where children like Abram learned how to escape. The mobile unit also had a bedroom in it so children could learn how to stay safe during a fire in every room of the house. Part of the training: properly escaping out the window. Children learned they should never go back inside a burning building.
Cheryl Noel watched her son Isaiah practice the exercises. She said she hoped this event would be fun, but also help him to know where to go if he needed help. “Just to learn to not be scared if something happens to them, who the people are that might be coming into the home or the school where there’s an emergency,” she said.
22News also went to Longmeadow Fire Station’s open house to speak with parents there. “I just reminded them that if we’re ever not around, you know, that it’s important that they know where they go,” said Marin Rovithis, a Longmeadow mother.
No parent ever wants their children to be in an emergency situation, but they wanted their children to know what to do, just in case.