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Home school students get practical lessons in fire safety

Denver Fire Department batallian chief Darby Price (left) demonstrates equipment during a homeschool tour. Will Rhoney, 6, (right) wears Price’s helmet. The tour emphasized safety and the importance of having a fire escape plan.

Stop, drop and roll.
It’s not a new dance or the prescription for boredom: it’s the overall message of safety recently communicated to more than 10 homeschool students in east Lincoln by members of the Denver Fire Department.
According to mother of four Lisa Rhoney, all of the homeschoolers that were on the tour go to Lucia Baptist Church.
“It’s our first time here as a homeschool group in the fire department,” she said.
The older homeschool students got to see the equipment first, followed by a program on fire safety.
The younger kids got to see the equipment after their fire safety program.
For Landon McMahon, 15, it wasn’t his first time touring DFD. He’s been there a couple of times before.
“The overall message is safety,” said McMahon. “Be safe when you’re around fire.”
McMahon’s mother, Beth, organized the tour and said the children really benefited from the information given to them.
“The students got to roleplay in what to do in an actual fire,” said McMahon. “I feel they learned better from actually performing stop, drop and roll than just hearing about it.”
McMahon said it’s important for her family to have a fire safety plan that includes an evacuation route to a meeting place outside in the event of a housefire.
“Being here at the fire department reinforces the fact that something can happen at anytime,” said McMahon. “It’s important to know exactly what to do.”
Lisa Rhoney agreed with McMahon’s sentiment and said the fire safety plan was really driven home by the tour.
“We’re going to put a plan together so we’ll know what to do to get out safely,” she said, adding it’s crucial with a total of four kids in the house.
One of her two sons, Will, 6, was excited about the opportunity to tour the department.
“Are you really going to let us try the gear on,” he asked battalion chief Darby Price, who then put a helmet on his head.
Price said that while tours are available at the DFD, sometimes families stop-by the station located on N.C. 16 as they are driving by.
“We usually do tours up to three times per week,” said Price. “Groups range from daycare to youth groups and all people have to do is to call or come by.”
Darby added the overall message during the tour is safety.
“Fire, water and bicycle safety are what we’re all about,” said Price.
Case in point, during the tour, Price asked a group of young students if they wear bicycle helmets when they are riding.
“I don’t wear mine,” one girl said.
Price told the group the importance of wearing a helmet when they ride bicycles.
“It keeps you from hurting yourself if you have an accident,” Price said.
According to Price, whether touring a group of children or adults, the message is the same.
“It all boils down to safety,” said Price. “What we teach them today may save their lives tomorrow.”

For more information or availability of tours, call (704) 483-5115 or visit the Web site: www.denvervfd.com

by Jon Mayhew

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