Last Saturday was a banner day for the Cub Scouts, as they had the opportunity to tour an area volunteer fire department. One of the dads, Firefighter Paul, was kind enough to show the kids (and attending parents) around.
Many of the cubs had visited that same fire hall last year as part of a Kindergarten field trip; during that outing, the kids were taught the basics of fire safety: crawling out of a burning building instead of walking out, putting a hand against a door before opening it to make sure that a fire isn’t burning on the other side, that sort of thing.
Knowing that the cubs had already seen the standard presentation, Firefighter Paul made his presentation more about the working life of a first responder, with plenty of hands-on engagement for the cubs. He started with an overview of a firefighter’s equipment, which the scouts learned was collectively called “turnout gear,” engaging the kids’ minds by having them guess what each item of equipment was for. The kids really enjoyed seeing how heavy the equipment was, what it was like looking through the mask of a firefighter’s breathing apparatus, and trying on Paul’s helmet.
The cubs also got a rare treat. The fire chief agreed to start up both pumper trucks, and give the kids a ride around the block in a real fire truck. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go on the ride – too many of the cub parents wanted to ride instead!
After the ride, the cubs returned to the station, where they were given booklets about home fire safety, a glow-in-the-dark plastic cup, pencils treated with heat-sensitive paint that changed color when held, molded fire hydrant erasers and candy.
The outing was a smash success.