By Brenda Haas
In today’s world, children’s safety is a top priority for almost any parent. Last week, Port Clinton Fire Department gave parents a little peace of mind with its annual Safety Town, a program providing fall 2019 Kindergarten students with a basic foundation of safety education as they enter the school system.
“Parents need to follow through at home with what we teach these children,” said Fire Chief Kent Johnson. “They retain what they learn.” He indicated a 3-year-old called 9-1-1 several years ago, when a parent fell down a flight of stairs and was knocked unconscious. The child’s actions were a perfect example of Safety Town education impacting a family in a positive way.
Safety Town 2019 included presentations covering all the basics of public safety. Speakers from the police, fire, ambulance and ODNR departments kept it fun for the children as they learned about the importance of wearing a seat belt, what to do if approached by a stranger, how to practice bike and water safety, knowing to stop, drop and roll and “get out, stay out.” Safety-related craft activities also allowed the students to learn in creative ways.
Some of the most memorable times the Safety Town students enjoyed were in the “town” itself, spending hands-on time in a police cruiser, and school bus. One unique aspect of Port Clinton’s Safety Town program is its Children’s Fire Safety House, essentially a tiny home on wheels used to teach fire safety. The house is also utilized extensively by other groups hosting Safety Town programs in the area.
According to Johnson, Port Clinton Fire Department has been doing the Safety Town program for over 20 years.
“They were a great group of kids,” said Johnson, of this year’s young attendees. “Hope to see many more again next year.”