Interactions teach us a lot

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ask a young person what they want to be when they grow up, and you will certainly get a variety of answers.

But there are a number of answers multiple children will give, some of which include firefighter and police officer.

To children, these two professions are seen as heroes to the community. Children hear stories of how these emergency responders have saved or protected lives and property and then want to emulate that.

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As adults we see evidence that these two professions do provide that level of security to a community.

But what these children may not know are the dangers firefighters and police officers face every day, and that’s where visits by these dedicated men and women to their school can shed a little light on that.

At the same time it gives these young minds a chance to interact with the men and women who leave the safety of their homes and families to protect ours.

One of the most interesting lessons these children learn while meeting firefighters for the first time concerns the gear they use.

Firefighters employ a number of protective gear when entering a burning home. The strangest of which to children is the facemask connected to an oxygen tank.

To a small child, a firefighter dressed out in turnout gear with a mask employed could be something from the next hit horror movie. And that’s not a good thing because children can become so scared if they see such a sight through the smoke of a fire, they may run and hide instead of seeking help.

This creates a dangerous situation where the child hiding in a closet might not be found by the firefighter trying to save their life. But that’s why firefighters go around to the schools and show children what they look like while fighting fires.

That’s why it’s essential that firefighters and police officers interact with the young children, so when they are in desperate need of help, they won’t be afraid to ask.