By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
Edison Elementary summer school kindergartners learned about 911 during their first hand look at the Gainesville police and fire departments on Friday as local officers led the students on a guided tour of the various departments of the multi-function complex with the support of Edison teachers Maria Buenos Aires, Peggy Marish and Andrea Byars.
At the police station, the students were introduced to various aspects of police work including dispatch, 911 and the Case detectives that investigate crimes in the area.
According to teacher Buenos Aires, the students are building on their knowledge of the English language in the summer session and the field trips enrich the vocabulary and social growth of the students.
Buenos Aires, Marish and Byars all credit principal Sharon Norwood with implementation of the field trips in which the students build on the positive experiences of learning about their community.
Byars said, “Ms Norwood is the why behind everything good and positive that we do. This is the first year we have been able to offer these field trips all because of Ms. Norwood. .”
Buenos Aires agreed, “Ms Norwood’s door is always open and she is willing to listen to new ideas that help our students.”
The students were given plastic fireman’s hats after the completion of their tour of the fire department.
During the tour of the fire department EMS Bryan Beaudin asked the students what to do in case of emergency and in a resounding voice, all the students said to call ‘911’.
He said, “That’s correct and when you call 911 be sure and give them your name, address and what is the emergency.”
Beaudin advised the kids that there are three fire stations in Gainesville (Station 1, 2, and 3) and there are three teams at each station (Shifts A, B and C). Each shift consists of a team working for a 24 hour period every third day.
Beaudin instructed the students on fire safety and what to do if they find themselves in a smoke filled room.
He said, “If there is smoke in the room get low and crawl out of the building and don’t go back in for anything. The air quality is better closer to the ground because smoke rises.”
In the station bay were fire trucks and paraphernalia that the kids were able to see close up and first hand as Beaudin and his team demonstrated equipment that they have on hand to assist in fire rescues.
Fireman Kenny Blakey manned a fire hose and each child had a turn in operating the hose and spraying water from the 750 gallon water truck on site. After their turn, each one received a complementary facsimile fire helmet from fireman Michael Pass.
Teacher Andrea Byars said, “This is the first time many of these kids have been up close to firemen and policemen and it is good for them to know that they are here to protect them. When they get back to class, they will be able to write about their experiences in the daily journal they keep. Not bad for kindergartners.”