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Preschoolers take tour of Fire Department
Some of the preschoolers squealed with delight as other jumped up and down in anticipation. A few hid behind the legs of grown ups and one or two even shed tears of trepidation.
One thing was certain, the Corning Fire Department was a hive of "busy bees" on Monday as more than 25 youngsters from Busy Bees Preschool took a tour of the fire hall.
Fire Chief Martin Spannaus showed the children the dispatch room, and even went down the fire pole still located in the fire hall, although it is no longer used.
In an effort to explain the sights and sounds of a firefighter coming into a burning home, Martin donned firefighting gear, including mask and oxygen tank, and walked among the kids letting them touch him and get right up close.
"This way if they are ever in the situation where a firefighter has to come in a help them out of a fire, or other situation, they won't be afraid of the sounds the oxygen tank makes or the way a firefighter looks in an oxygen mask," Martin stated. "It could save their lives because now it is a sight they have seen before and hopefully they won't try to get away from the firefighter out of fear."
That said, some of the little busy bees still shied away from Spannaus in fright at what they saw as "scary."
Each of the preschoolers got to sit inside a fire engine, put on firefighters coat and hat, and use a fire hose. "This is heavy," said one little girls as Spannaus placed a firefighters coat on her back.
Spannaus also taught the children about making sure their families have emergency escape plans at their homes.
"Now you go home and tell your family they need to have an emergency escape plan that has two different ways to get out of your home," he said.
Kid-size plastic firefighters hats were given to each child and the tour ended with the group receiving a ride back to the preschool on a fire engine.