Firefighters talk safety and prevention

Courtesy of J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School
A Mantua firefighter high fives a group of kids at J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School during an assembly last month.

Mantua Township firefighters visited J. Mason Tomlin and Centre City elementary schools during Fire Prevention Month to teach kids about fire safety and prevention.

The school held two assemblies for students to also learn what being a firefighter is like.

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“So October is Fire Prevention Month,” said Victor Torino, of the Mantua fire marshal’s office. “Every year, we hold an assembly at JMT and Centre City to go over basic fire prevention. Every year, the state Division of Fire Sfety announces a specific topic of fire prevention.”

This year’s topic, according to Torino, was cooking safety in the kitchen.

“As cooking/kitchen fires are the leading cause of house fires,” said Torino, “we’re basically advising children to stay at least 3 inches away from the stoves and ovens and what not.”

The department also featured a firefighter dressed in gear its members would wear in a fire, including an oxygen tank and gas mask, items that could look intimidating to a child. It was then explained to students what each piece of gear is and why it is important.

“This is for kids to understand that the firemen may look scary with all the equipment on, but are nothing to be scared of and are here to help,” Torino explained.

Students from Tomlin and Centre City also competed in a poster-making contest whose themes focused on fire safety and prevention. The winners – chosen by the firefighters themselves – received a gold medal with patch at the assemblies.

“The winner of the class is based off creativity of the topic and making sure they are understanding the assignment and topic,” Torino noted.

The two elementary schools highlighted their respective assemblies on Facebook.

“Thank you so much to our Mantua firemen for their informative and fun assembly,” said a post from Centre City. “We are always grateful for their time.”

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