Youth can be superheroes for fire safety: Gore Bay fire chief

Gore Bay Volunteer Fire Department members Mike Addison and Justin Harris recently visited Charles C. McLean Public School in Gore Bay to talk to students about fire safety as part of Fire Prevention Week.

GORE BAY – As part of this year’s provincial Fire Prevention Week, members of the Gore Bay Volunteer Fire Department visited Charles C. McLean Public School to talk to students about fire safety.

“This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is ‘You Don’t have to Wear a Cape to be a Super Hero,’ said Mike Addison, Gore Bay fire chief,  visited C.C. McLean with fellow firefighter Justin Harris last Friday. He pointed out police officers and ambulance paramedics can be considered superheroes because they help people.

“And are firefighters heroes? Yes, they are,” said Mr. Addison. “When someone needs to be saved in a fire or when a building is on fire they are on hand to help out.”

“What we want to talk about with all of you today is the point that you can be a superhero, by making sure your house and family is safe,” Mr. Addison told the students. He outlined the importance of having properly working smoke alarms in every level of homes and buildings. “If a fire takes place this smoke alarm will make noise, beeping loudly to alert you and members of your family of the fire and that you need to go outside and stay outside.”

“You need to replace old smoke alarm batteries,” he said, noting, “sometimes people will turn the alarm off or remove the battery. But this is not safe.” Mr. Addison encouraged the students, “to be a superhero and do your homework,” by going home and have a parent push the button on the smoke alarm to make sure it works; and if it is not working properly to tell them they need to change the battery in the alarm. 

A fire alarm had gone off at C.C. McLean on Thursday of last week (fortunately it was a false alarm). “What do you do if the alarm goes off at school or at home?” asked Mr. Addison. “In this case all of you need to get as low to the ground as you can walk outside when the smoke alarm goes off. This is the same at home as well; make sure your family has a plan of how to get out, and where everyone—your parents and sisters, brothers—will meet outside. Your family needs to have a special spot where everyone will meet during a fire, because when a fire takes place someone in the house may go out the front door and someone else might go out the back door. By meeting outside in a special location your parents know if everyone in the house is safe,” he said. “So when you go home tonight tell your parents you need a safe place to meet outside if a fire takes place.” 

Mr. Addison and Mr. Harris had brought the Gore Bay fire truck for the students to view and hear how it operates. The two firefighters talked about the truck and how it works and the firefighters suits they wear when they are fighting a fire. And, the students were reminded, “sometimes little people get scared when a fire takes place and hide from firefighters. Don’t hide from a firefighter; he or she is not mean and they are going to help you.”