On October 14, three lucky students at Cache Creek Elementary School got to be Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief for the day, courtesy of the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Jonny Grin (Fire Chief) and Peyton Mclin and Ayden Harris-Harder (Assistant Fire Chiefs) were picked up from their homes and got to ride to school in engine #3. After school they were again picked up by engine #3 and taken to the Cache Creek fire hall, where they were able to put on turn-out gear and practice with a fire hose alongside Cache Creek Fire Chief Clayton Cassidy and Captain Don Hillyard.
The students found that handling a fire hose is heavy work. Photo by Clayton Cassidy
All three students got a tour of the fire hall and refreshments, and were presented with plaques and fire alarms courtesy of the Cache Creek Fire Department, as well as a gift certificate for a large pizza courtesy of Anie’s Pizza and Bakery and the fire department. The three boys were then given a ride home in engine #3.
The students had had their names picked in a draw at the school on October 13, after Cassidy and Hillyard went to Cache Creek Elementary on October 11 during Fire Prevention week. They visited each class, talking about fire safety and how to stay safe in the event of a fire.
“It’s a very popular program with the kids,” says Cassidy of the event, which the fire department does each year. The theme of this year’s brochure was smoke detectors, and children were encouraged to go home and check the date on their smoke detectors to see if they needed replacing.
“Most kids recognize the sound of a smoke detector, and a few put up their hands when they were asked if their smoke detector is working. They’ll take that knowledge home with them.” Students were also given a template so they could go home and draw a floor plan of their house with two fire escape routes.
“We talked about what to do in case of a fire, like putting your hand on the door to see if it’s hot. They’re told that if there’s a fire, not to hide under their bed or in a closet, and not to go back inside the house for something, like a pet, once they’re safely out. And we talked about anything in the house that gets hot and could catch fire.”
The fire engine pulling up to the school is always a magnet for kids, laughs Cassidy. “The flashing lights and big red truck really gets them going.” He adds that the three honorary chiefs were delighted. “They were outside waiting, raring to go. It was a big thrill for them, and they had a lot of fun.”