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Big lesson on fire safety for kindergarten students

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HOLLYWOOD, Ala. (WHNT) -- Students at Hollywood School in Jackson County are learning a big lesson, and crawling through a smoke-filled room is part of it.

Thursday, a Hollywood School teacher ushered her class of kindergartners into a library. The kids met men, who are at least three times bigger, decked out in firefighter gear.

As the students squirm into a 'criss-cross applesauce' position, a firefighter walks to the front of the room and says, "Hollywood Fire Department here, we're here to teach you about fire safety today."

When kindergartners are taught by a bunch of firefighters, they just might listen. All eyes turn on the four men towering over them. The firefighters are decked in their full gear and explain it to these wide-eyed scholars. They also show what a fully decked-out firefighter looks like, so in an emergency, the kids won't be apprehensive.

"Why is it so bright?" "What is that red thing?" "Does it burn?" "Is it hot?" These are some of the students' questions.

This lesson is something the Hollywood Fire Department does twice a year for the school.

"We're here to show the kids about fire prevention, we've got the smoke trailer out here, to show the kids how to get out of the house if it catches on fire," Chief Patrick Allen says.

Outside the school, there is a trailer with smoke pouring out for kids to learn how to navigate a dark, smokey areas on their hands and knees.

Chief Allen says they do this demonstration twice a year, so it sticks with the students. He says each time they do it, the kids seem to remember more. For the Hollywood Fire Department, that's a mission accomplished.

"It's a good thing to get started at, at a young age," Chief Allen says.

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