ELKHART — Firefighters were on site at the Elkhart Public Library Monday afternoon teaching children how to be safe in case of fire.

“We try to be community oriented with our events,” the library’s media specialist Trevor Wendzoka said. “It’s a good opportunity to partner with the fire department because even though they might go to schools, this is a chance to talk to kids they might not see such as kids from daycares or homeschooled.”

Firefighters from Elkhart Fire Department’s Central Station spoke to children about smoke alarms, doorways and emergency situations. Children learned to call 9-1-1 in case of genuine emergencies, as well as how to “Stop, Drop and Roll.”

“Their school has been learning about fire safety in October so it’s the perfect time to talk about this,” Theresa Long, a local mother said. “They’ve had firemen come to their school.”

More han a dozen youths ranging from preschool-aged to middle school were at the program, and parents were as interested in learning about fire safety too.

“Not everybody knows what to do,” Lt. Peter Svetanoff said. “Part of our job is life safety and life preservation and if you’re able to educate people at an early age, it might save their life one day.”

Parents and children alike were shown and able to touch tools on Rescue 1 such as hoses, spreaders and cutters.

October is Fire Prevention Month so officers all over the county are taking extra time this month to ensure that children and adults are aware of potential hazards and how to prevent them, organizers said. 

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