Valdosta students learn fire safety -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta students learn fire safety

^Junior Fire Marshal Ashley Freeman ^Junior Fire Marshal Ashley Freeman

May 15, 2003

Valdosta - One hundred and twenty-four Valdosta students are certified as Junior Fire Marshals. "Children are the best method of spreading the word about fire safety," said Valdosta Fire Chief J. D. Rice. "They can reach a lot more people than us adults."

Most of these kids are younger than 10 years old, but they know more about fire safety than many adults. "You should always remain calm if you're in a fire, have an emergency plan, and make sure everyone's accounted for," said Ashley Freeman, Junior Fire Marshal.

So just what does it take to be a Junior Fire Marshal? For students at Southeast Elementary, its a lot of hard work and dedication "They've gone on field trips to fire stations, worked closely with firefighters, given presentations to their classmates about fire safety," said Katie Wright, Junior Fire Marshal Coordinator.

Now they're leaders in their school and have quiet a bit of responsibility. In a fire drill, these youngsters have several important duties. "One checks the windows, and another holds the door for the other students," said Wright.

Freeman says even though they've only practiced drills, she'd know just what to do if there was a fire at home. "I would feel the door to see if it was hot, then stay low and find an exit," said Freeman.

The other Jr. Fire Marshals say they'd do the same and will spread the message of fire safety to their friends and family.

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