The Park Rapids Fire Department marked this year’s Fire Prevention Week by visiting students at Century Elementary and pre-K students at the Frank White Education Center, as well as giving kindergartners a tour of the fire hall.

Various visits going one way or the other between Friday, Oct. 8 and Tuesday, Oct. 19 were designed to familiarize youngsters with basic principles of fire safety.

“We teach them what the importance is of calling 911, and which agencies that gets,” said Firefighter Crystal Krautkremer. “We talk about the importance of smoke detectors, what it means when it beeps; how to get out of your house, two ways of getting out of each room; the importance of changing batteries every year for the smoke detector, to not breathe in smoke and to crawl out of the house if there is smoke; not to play with matches and lighters; and stop, drop and roll.”

Firefighters also showed the children the tools stored on a fire truck and explained the gear they wear.

“Especially with the preschoolers, we want to acclimate them so they see what we wear, so that it’s not a scary thing if we’re in all of our gear and they don’t expect it,” said Krautkremer.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

“This is first contact with them,” Fire Chief Terry Long said as firefighters prepared to meet a voluntary pre-K class Monday in the Frank White bus loop. “So, we’d like to be able to let them see us and see what we wear.”

“We do that from daycare all the way up to fourth grade,” said Krautkremer, “so that when they see it every single year, by the time they get to fourth grade, they’re pretty used to it.”

Krautkremer noted that all the firefighters participating in their visit to Frank White on Monday had children or grandchildren in the preschool program.

“It’s pretty exciting for us to teach our own,” she said.

“And for them,” said Erickson.