Tumbler Ridge?s Newest Fire Chief

Faith Webster, who is in grade two at Tumbler Ridge Elementary school(TRE), had a very exciting day on Friday October 26, 2007. Webster was the winner of the Fire Chief for the Day contest, held by the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department.

In early October during Fire Prevention Week, Fire Chief Dan Golob visited all classes at TRE to talk about fire safety in the home, the importance of practicing exit strategies in the home and he also encouraged students to be involved with fire safety in the home.

The younger grades(K-2) watched a video titled EDITH. EDITH(exit drills in the home) explained fire safety in the home and showed students a family practicing their fire drill after moving into a new home. The family talked about the plan, practiced the plan and posted their exit strategy so everyone who came to visit would know what to do in case of an emergency. Fire Chief Golob also discussed with the students the need for fire detectors and what they should do if they see someone playing inappropriately with fire and/or matches. The video(EDITH) was informative and it connected with the younger students.

The higher grades(3-6) have had fire safety education for a few years and this year they were faced with a challenge from Chief Golob. They were shown a scene and it was the students who had to pinpoint the safety infringements, like too many electrical cords in one outlet. Students were up to the challenge and they were pretty good at pointing out dangerous situations.

Upon leaving every classroom, Fire Chief Golob gave each student an entry form to enter the Fire Chief for the day contest. It wasn?t a contest where students could just fill out their names. Students who wanted to win, had to work for it. Students were required to go home and create an exit plan, getting help from their parents and guardians. ?It was important that students show two ways out of every room in the house?, stated Chief Golob. Students had to label the smoke detectors, they were required to show the different levels of the home and a safe meeting place (in case of separation in an emergency) had to be included in the plan.

This year, in order to entice students a bit more to enter and try their best, a new bike was also part of the prize. With 62 entries received, Chief Golob said the bike did the trick, as entry numbers were up from last year. After looking at each entry, making sure a good effort was present and the criteria for the exit plan was fulfilled, Faith Webster was chosen as Fire Chief for the Day.

Webster said her day was very ?cool?. Not only was she picked up for school in the Fire Truck, Chief Golob also treated her to lunch. Webster chose the Dragon Palace for lunch and enjoyed learning about the local fire department. She was surprised to hear that in total, 19 volunteer firefighters work at the fire department. More exciting to learn she said, ?there are five women firefighters, so only 14 men!?. After lunch, Webster was given a personal tour of the fire department. ?The badges were the coolest?, explained Webster. ?The pictures of all the fires were also very interesting?. Webster was also excited to see all the gear the firefighters wear. ?It was all very heavy?.

Pushing the buttons for the sirens and the lights were fun, winning the contest was exciting, but the ?best part of the day?, says Webster, ?was seeing my new bike?. ?It is purple and white and has a lot of reflectors on it?.