Ken Strate (far right) demonstrates how to use the fire house to Junior Fire Patrol students. Pictured from the left are department members Lane Strate and John Graham, students Chezney Kanode, Gavin Mueller and Beau Becker.
The Exeter Volunteer Fire Department is proactive about safety. After missing a few years because of COVID, the department revamped and restarted their Junior Fire Patrol program which is open to Exeter-Milligan fifth and sixth graders.
This year the program changed from a four week night schedule to just one Saturday crammed full of great information and fun.
The course is hands on with lots of practical knowledge. Just three fifth graders attended this years' program but they had a fantastic time learning the ropes at the fire department.
Their day started with a group discussion on personal safety and home safety. They learned how to check their home smoke detectors and how often the batteries should be changed.
Part of that discussion was practicing stop, drop and roll and learning why it works and why it is important.
Some of their discussion focused on fires at home, some of the hazards including clothes dryers, space heaters and electrical cords. They detailed an escape plan along with creating a diagram of their plan and talking about safe meeting spots. “The kids are thinking about these situations and asking questions about them,” explained Hope Strate, who has taken the reins of the program.
There were lots of hands on opportunities for the students including CPR training which gave them a workout, choking training and burn first aid. Strate noted that some of the burn photos were pretty gruesome but the students stuck with it and learned a lot about how to treat injuries.
They also learned about some holiday hazards including Christmas tree lights and candles in Halloween jack-o-lantern’s. But the best part of their day involved the hands on training which included a driving tour of town with the students in charge of the sirens and lights, learning to man the hoses and washing the streets downtown, and a chance to play with the new extrication equipment.
Several of the department members volunteered their time training the students including State, Ken Strate, John Graham, Ashley Miller, Jackie Miller, Joe Miller, Vicki Androyna and Dan Everhart.
The program is now on a biannual rotation and after the success of the first one day program, plans to keep the new schedule in place, “My goal for not only the future of the Junior Fire Patrol, as well as community fire prevention training, is that all of the training will make Exeter a safer place for everyone,” added Strate.
Chezney Kanode mans the fire hose with Gavin Mueller’s support and under the supervision of John Graham (left) and Ken Strate (right).Gavin Mueller is pretty sure manning the fire truck hose is fun (or making he was looking to soak the photographer) along with the help of Beau Becker (left) and Chezney Kanode (right). Training the students were Lane Strate (middle rear) and Ken Strate (right),
Three Exeter-Milligan fifth graders were pretty proud of their Junior Fire Patrol certificates. Front row from the left: Beau Becker, Gavin Mueller and Chezney Kanode. Behind from the left are: Jackie Miller, Lane Strate, Hope Strate, Dan Everhart, Ken Strate, Vicki Androyna, John Graham, Ashley Miller and Joe Miller.