Open house teaches youngsters about fire safety

First Posted: 10/14/2014

lan Jennings greeted children and families at the Clarks Summit Fire Co. No. 1 Open House on Oct. 11. The event culminated the annual nationwide Fire Prevention Week Oct. 5-11.

At the fire house located at 321 Bedford St., live demonstrations, tours of fire trucks and the station, classroom contests, fire truck rides, meet and greet with firefighters, Lackawanna County 911 Mobile Command Trailer, Scranton Fire Department Smoke Trailer, Lackawanna County SWAT team and Sheriff’s K-9 unit with Kato, EMS units and games and food were all part of the learning experiences offered to children and families.

The Joseph W. Hall Memorial Auxiliary for the Clarks Summit Fire Company No. 1 provided food that included beverages, hot dogs and baked goods and games for the children.

For 22 years, Jennings, the fire company’s chaplain and fire prevention coordinator, has been teaching children in pre-school to fourth grade about the dangers of fire. He visits approximately 25 schools locally and in outlying areas.

“Most of the kids I’ll see from pre-school all the way through fourth grade,” Jennings said. “We talk to the kids about (the dangers of) playing with matches, lighters and fire, not to touch fire. We get dressed (in our uniforms) in front of them to show them what we look like when we go into a fire, but we do it piece-by-piece so they’re not afraid. We explain every piece of the outfit to them, right down to the gloves. Sometimes, the smallest of kids can remember the little things about what I’ve taught. (He tells the children) ‘If you don’t remember too much this year, next year you’ll remember more, because if you stay in the Abington School District, I’ll have you all the way through the fourth grade.’”

Fire chief Jake Hoinowski added, “Every year at the end (of Fire Prevention Week), Al goes to schools with a bunch of the other guys that come and help.”

Rachel Tajan, of Peckville, attended the open house because she said her son, Gideon, is a big fan of firefighters.

“He is all about the firefighters right now,” Tajan said. “He really likes the activities and can get on them (the equipment) and really experience the activities.”

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