POINT PLEASANT — October is Fire Prevention Month and though this year was an unconventional observance, local firefighters continued on with their educational efforts on fire safety despite the pandemic.
The Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department, which has the largest coverage area in the county, still visited Beale, Point Primary and Point Intermediate schools, but instead of accomplishing it in one week, stretched it into two to accommodate the classes and blended/in-person learning models. This meant visiting the same school multiple times.
Cpt. Adam Bryant, who has been in charge of fire prevention educational activities for 10 years, said, like virtually everything else in 2020, Fire Prevention Week and Month “has been different.”
Bryant explained this year, though firefighters visited schools in their coverage area over an extended period of time, they did not visit inside individual classrooms. The students could not climb into the truck to explore, like in previous years, due to health concerns associated with the pandemic and social distancing efforts.
With safety in mind at all times, Bryant said the demonstrations were held outside and firefighters spoke with children in smaller groups with no “hands on learning” but learning nonetheless.
“We do our best to get the fire safety facts across so they will be prepared in case they every experience a fire at their home,” Bryant said.
The Point Fire Department usually wraps up Fire Prevention Week with Community Fun Day, which is a free event full of family-friendly activities and free food. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, that community outreach event was canceled with hopes to return next year, like many other activities across the area.
Making the public aware of fire safety during Fire Prevention Month includes stressing escape plans during a fire, placing and/or replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in homes, having fire extinguishers on hand, reminders to never leave a fire unattended and much more.
Beth Sergent contributed to this article.
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