Moorestown fire prevention month

For 39 years, Moorestown Division of Fire Prevention has been planning fire safety events for students in grades kindergarten to fourth grade.

Starting on Oct. 7 and ending Oct. 18, Moorestown elementary students will attend fire safety assemblies. Puppeteer Ray Farrell is bringing his puppets to perform fire safety education shows.

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Farrell makes sure to set up five different shows so the children never see the same show twice. The children see a new show every year, said Moorestown Fire Marshall Robert Worrell.

Farrell tries to get the message out about fire safety and works it into his puppet shows.

Assemblies are already scheduled for each school. The fire assembly at the Roberts School is on Oct. 17 at 9:30 a.m.; Our Lady of Good Council School will be announced; The Moorestown Friends School on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.; Baker School on Oct. 9 at 1:15 p.m.; and South Valley on Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.

Fire trucks will also stop by the schools and the firefighters will demonstrate putting on safety equipment.

Worrell said the main purpose of the firefighter showing children how to put on the equipment is to allow them to be more comfortable with firefighters in their equipment.

Trucks will stop by the schools on different dates.

Roberts School on Oct. 8 from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. and from 1:15 to 2 p.m.; Our Lady of Good Council School on Oct. 9 from 10 to 11:15 a.m.; Moorestown Friends School on Oct. 15 from 9:15 to 11 a.m.; Baker School on Oct. 16 from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.; and South Valley School on Oct. 17 from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

Schools will also visit the fire stations on Oct. 3, 4 and 5.

“When [the program started] I didn’t want it to be a truck display,” Worrell said.

Worrell wanted to make the fire prevention educational and fun for the children.

During the Annual Fire Safety Open House on Friday, Oct. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m., children from ages 6 to 9 will get a chance to participate in the Five Step Life Safety Program.

Worrell explained that the five steps are rolling out of bed, crawling low on the ground and under smoke, feeling the door for heat, stop, drop and roll, and emergency (911) calls to the fire department.

The phone calls are made at the end of the session on fake telephones. Volunteer firefighters are on the other end of the phone. It was set up to ensure each child is able to calmly provide proper information regarding the emergency, said Worrell.

When the program is completed, children will get the chance to ride on the fire truck.

Activities for adults will also take place during the open house — parents and any adults attending will learn how to extinguish a stovetop fire, and learn how to operate a fire extinguisher.

A moon bounce, fire safety games and a display of antique fire equipment are a few other open house activities, along with snacks and refreshments.

Worrell mentioned Sparky the Fire Dog and Pluggie the Fire Hydrant Robot will be there to take pictures with the children.

The Maple Shade and Lenola Fire Companies will provide truck rides and the Moorestown Emergency Squad will have equipment demonstrations.

The fire prevention activities don’t stop there. Although Moorestown is hosting Fire Prevention Month in October, there are more activities in the winter.

Worrell designed Adopt a Fire Hydrant in 2001. The program is specifically designed for fourth-grade students. Although the event doesn’t take place until there us snow on the ground, parents are asked to sign consent forms and each child will be assigned a hydrant that is close to their home.

Worrell said that there are no hydrant assignments on the main roads. Hydrants will be assigned on “back streets” for safety purposes.

The winter activity allows the children to take part in keeping the community prepared just in case of a fire. When it snows, the children will have to go to their assigned hydrant and with their own shovel and properly dressed they will have to clear a 36-inch area around the hydrant. Creating this path allows firefighters to gain access to the hydrant and hook up a hose.

According to a news release, the activity helps build respect for fire safety.

All who participate in Adopt a Fire Hydrant are invited to the firehouse in the spring to receive a t-shirt and will have the opportunity to be in a group photo.

Worrell said that they make sure to tell the children to wear their shirts the next time they go to school.

Applications are available at the Moorestown Upper Elementary School Principal’s Office around Nov. 1.

The Moorestown Annual Great Escape Contest is another activity the department has planned for children in second grade.

Children will be given an 11 by 14 piece of grid paper to plan out an emergency escape plan. Each plan will be submitted when completed, but there is still a pending date for the submission.

On the grid paper, students will need to plan two ways to escape each room, the location of every fire detector, and identify a family meeting place on top of a few other factors in the Home Escape Plan, according to Worrell.

Second graders from each of the elementary school shave one winner and one grand prize winner is chosen from the five schools. Each winner from the five schools will receive a certificate of participation. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 savings bond and a chance to ride on the fire truck during the Annual Moorestown Lion’s Club Christmas Parade in December.

For more information about fire prevention and the events the Moorestown Fire Department is hosting visit www.moorestownfire.org.

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