FIREMembers of the Pioche Volunteer Fire Department visited Pioche Elementary School during fire safety awareness week earlier this month. The older grades, fourth through sixth, participated in a fire extinguisher program.

Rick Stever, Fire Chief for the County Fire Protection District, said before students were led outside for a controlled fire to extinguish, he talked with the kids about smoke alarms, the importance of having an escape plan, what alarms sound like and how important it was to talk to their parents also. Then Stever taught about fire extinguishers, what they look like and how they work.

Then students were led around the school wear Stever had burn props set up, with extinguishers refilled with water. The fire is controlled and ignited remotely, and, “if the kids put the water in the right place, the flames go out,” Stever said.

Stever had two volunteers helping him outside, Matt Tredwell and Josh Reim, to refill the extinguishers.

Stever taught the students P-A-S-S: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. That is to “pull” the pin, “aim” the hose, “squeeze” the trigger, and “sweep” the nozzle back and forth.

The classes selected two students from each grade to perform the PASS technique. Stever said they were able to practice with nearly a dozen students.

Principal Pam Teel observed the presentation outside. She said she saw how the kids were totally engaged in the activity.

Inside, the lower grades learned about fire safe, what to do if a fire breaks out in their home or bedroom, and about what firemen look like and sound like in their gear.

Volunteers Matt Elmer, Matt Bailey and John Stever visited inside with kindergarten through third grades, answering the students questions, trying on air bags, helmets and masks, and the volunteers turnouts. The the students were taken outside to climb all over the truck. Secretary Trista Boyce said, “it was like a playground.”

Pioche Elementary Principal Pam Teel said, “it was a very good day.”

The volunteers plan annually to visit during fire safety week, and she said volunteers do a monthly fire drill at the school.

“You’ve got good volunteers here in Pioche,” Teel said.