News: Fire department teaches fire safety to Yokosuka Middle School students
Story by Paul Long
YOKOSUKA, Japan - October is Fire Prevention and Safety Month. Commander Naval Region Japan’s (CRFJ) Yokosuka Fire Department held a fire drill and demonstration at Yokosuka Middle School (YMS), Oct. 17, to teach the students about fire safety and prevention.
“I think it was an excellent event,” said YMS Principal, Dr. Fabio Robles. “The demonstration just gives the kids another opportunity to see it in action. It’s very comforting, being new to the school, to know that we have such an amazing fire department.”
Immediately after the drill started, the teachers and students exited the school, gathered on the athletic field and took a head count, the fire department began their demonstration.
A fire truck drove in, sirens blaring, and set up to put out the fire.
Sparky the Fire Dog was in a second story classroom window, waving a white flag to attract the attention of the fire fighters. A smoke machine poured smoke out of a window to add a sense of realism to the demonstration.
Fire fighters poured water at the fire and then led Sparky to safety. At the end of the demonstration, Sparky came out and greeted the children.
“It’s very essential that all the students and faculty evacuate the facility whenever a fire alarm system activates,” said George Salcedo, Kanto Plain Fire Prevention Chief. “Timing is essential for them to evacuate to a location where they can muster and take a headcount.”
YMS holds several drills during the school year and collaborates with the fire department to go over procedures for the drill and looks for areas where they can improve.
“We have five or six drills already and we’ve learned something new at each drill,” Robles said. “We’re trying to improve our practices everyday, trying it at different times of the day, so that we can be prepared in a real emergency.”
According to some students, the drills reinforce what they already have learned in the past and it’s also good for the new middle-schoolers.
“It’s good that they know where to go because it’s a new school for them,” said Aljede Garcia, an 8th grade student.
According to Garcia, he’s the youngest of three children and that his older sisters had told him what they learned during fire drills when they were middle school students.
Laarni Conanan, another YMS 8th grade student, is the oldest child in her family and after previous fire drills, she’s gone home and spoke to her family about what she’s learned.
“Since they’re younger and I’m the eldest, I need to make sure that they’re safe,” Conanan said.