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Hinks Elementary Students Receive Fire Education Training

Hinks Elementary students got a chance to learn about fire safety on Tuesday morning as members of the Alpena Township Fire Department brought an inflatable house to the school.

Inside that house, students learned about key elements of fire safety and how to respond in the event that a fire happens in their home.

“We have a new educational fire bounce house that the Thunder Bay Firefighters Association was able to procure with a bunch of donations from business owners and different folks in the community, so we thought we’d bring that out,” said Alpena Township Fire Chief Mark Hansen. “We’re doing the entire school, approximately 130–140 kids.”

Both Hinks and the fire department believe elementary school age is a great time for kids to learn about fire safety.

“You never know when it’s going to happen, and so they learned stop, drop, and roll, they’re in the smoke house so they can experience what that looks like to be in that environment and deal with the firefighters,” said first grade teacher at Hinks, Dione Oliver.

The bounce house gave the students a real experience, so they would know firsthand how to deal with a fire if it were to ever occur in their home.

“We’re filling the home with artificial smoke so they kind of get that feeling of what it looks like if the smoke was in the home, teaching them how to stay low, and stay out of trouble,” said Hansen.

It was also a chance for the students to get out of the classroom for the day and learn in a new way.

“Hands–on experience for sure, definitely;” said Oliver. “It’s great for the kids to have all of these experiences. The experience in the house, they have three different spots where they learned different strategies, and it will hopefully make a difference to someone. If it impacts just a few, it’s a great start.”

The fire department plans on taking the bounce house to other places to teach about fire safety in the future.