Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register
Valley View —
The Valley View ISD elementary students in grades kindergarten through fourth were among the 400 guests of the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department Fire Prevention and Safety Program Olympic style last week.
The Fire Department has developed a clown program to deliver their safety messages to the students. Clowns Funky Brown and Blamo are the creation of the Fire Prevention Committee chaired by members Jansen Bewley and Marnee Smith.
Marnee Smith served as commentator as the clowns and members presented a message on protection against the West Nile virus. The fire department volunteers illustrated the correct way to spray for mosquitoes, best type of clothing to wear outside, and things to do around the house to prevent mosquitoes infestation.
The group also demonstrated boating safety by using a life jacket and discussing rules for boat and water recreation.
The students also toured a simulated burning home. They learned rules about what to deal if their homes catch fire. Among the lessons learned were: have a location to meet outside, keep low to the ground when exiting the home, and do not reenter the burning building for any reason.
The students also heard a short presentation on bullying. Students were given a paper with a heart on it and crumpled it to show how much it hearts to be bullied. The VFD members then presented ideas on how to deal with bullies and cruelty.
The program also included an appearance by Sparky the Fire Dog (Justin Smith) who demonstrated how to stop, drop, and roll. Students had their photos taken with Sparky.
Firefighters Brendan Smith, Madison Pearse, Alan Wills, Julie Shaw, Wayne Smith, and Ken Pearse demonstrated how the trucks work — complete with lights and sirens — and helped teach the students how to get out of a burning building.
The kids also got to see firefighter Aaron Cox in full fire gear along with helper Ron Suddeth.
The Fire Department expressed its appreciation for VVISD teachers and Principal Susan Smith for their participation.
Organizers say they are planning to develop a new safety program for next year.