Firefighters spread message of prevention and preparedness this week

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Fire preparedness is an important lesson for children to learn and practice at an early age, and to that end, Capt. Rob Huttema and firefighter Lynette Fellows were making presentations to local elementary schools on Monday, including to Kindergarten and Grade 3 classes at Notre Dame School. Lessons included the stop, drop and roll technique for when clothes catch on fire, how to stay low while exiting a burning building to avoid smoke inhalation, and much more.

Huttema said teaching children about fire prevention and preparedness gives them good habits they will carry with them into adulthood.

“It’s incredibly huge,” he said. “I still get adults and teachers saying they remember stop, drop and roll from when they were in school. You never forget them once you learn them.”

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Huttema also emphasized the importance of regularly testing smoke alarms, and even gave the Kindergarten students a homework assignment to do just that.

“A working smoke alarm is huge, it’s your first line of defence against a fire,” he said.

To that end, the Dawson Creek Fire Department has partnered with Dominos Pizza and Panago Pizza for a campaign to ensure residents have working smoke alarms throughout Fire Prevention Week. Firefighters will be helping to make deliveries and simultaneously checking for working alarms, and if it does work, that customer will receive his/her meal for free.

“We did it last year and had a great response from it, so we’re just continuing on this year,” said Huttema.

He added unattended cooking is a major cause of house fires, and as the holiday season draws near, unattended candles or improperly installed Christmas lights are also common hazards.

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