Pre-schoolers explore fire engine
written by Barbara Lawlor: Nederland –
Fire engines—big, red and loud; exciting and scary all at the same time—evoke all kinds of reactions from pre-schoolers. Last week, children from the Aspen Grove Preschool got a hands-on opportunity to explore a real fire engine and to talk to real firefighters.
Most of the children were 2 to 5 years old and filled with curiosity and imagination. When Nederland Fire Protection District firefighter Matt Watson asked what the big ladder was for, Michael Whinston raised his arms and said that the ladder goes way up and shoots water at the fire.
Firefighter Eric Abramson told the children that if they were ever caught in a fire, they should drop and roll and the preschoolers looked at the snow and frozen mud and made it clear they would try that on a warmer day.
One by one, the children had the opportunity to sit up in the cab and work the steering wheel. The boys made truck sounds as they went to the left and then to the right. Michael asked, “But what about the airplanes? I love to go up in a fighter plane.” That wasn’t on the agenda.
Part of the NFPD’s mission is to educate the children of our community, to become familiar to the kids who might react with fear in an emergency situation. The firefighters answered questions and lifted the children onto the engine, allowing them to feel the equipment, to imagine what the hose does in the event of a fire, to look at the ladder and picture it leaning against a building.
When the kids finally admitted they were getting cold, the firefighters gathered up their gear and waved goodbye as they headed down West First Street back to the fire station. The children waved and went back to the school, in awe of the big red engine and the firefighters who drive it.