fire station field trip
Yesterday we visited the fire station with a few of our homeschool friends.
We saw the living areas and kitchen that the crew uses when they are on duty, as well as their bedrooms. Even though my kids and I had been to a fire station before we had only seen the trucks and had not gotten to visit these areas, so it was really cool. We heard about how the 3 shifts of 7 people each (at this particular station, anyway) work and live as a family of sorts while they are there, preparing meals and maintaining the station while they wait to be called out.
We saw the locker room where their gear is kept, and the machines that are used to fill the air tanks that they breathe with in a fire.
Then we went out into the bay where the trucks are kept. Unfortunately, the big truck was out on a training exercise, so we didn't get to see that. But we did get to see the rescue vehicle and watch one of the firefighters put his gear on.
They explained about how the clothing is not fire proof but rather fire resistant, and that every area of skin has to be covered completely. We heard the guy in the suit breathing and everyone thought it was pretty cool that he sounded like Darth Vader. He said some of his ABC's so we could hear what he sounded like with the mask on, and he knelt down so everyone could touch his suit and see him up close.
Then we went back into the living room and sat down for a talk about fire safety, and the kids got to ask all the questions they could think of. We went over the basic stuff about what to do in a fire, and heard about some of their personal experiences (the biggest fire they had fought, etc.) We found out that they do not have a fire dog (this was of great interest to Stella!) and that most of the household fires they are called to are due to human error or bad judgment. One other interesting thing we found out is that the firefighters on this particular shift do yoga together! Everyone was surprised at that and thought it was really cool.
This was a great trip. We learned some new things and we also got to know our fire fighters a little better. I know it has sparked some ideas for things we need to talk about in our family regarding fire safety, and I think the kids will all be much more comfortable and unafraid if they are ever in a situation where one of these guys is helping them out of a fire or other emergency, now that they got to spend some time seeing what they do.