Top students become firemen for a day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2005

Thanks to members of the Greenville Fire Department, &uot;good citizens&uot; at W. O. Parmer were rewarded Wednesday afternoon.

Their reward was a closer look at what the firefighters do. The idea, which was originally brought to Parmer principle Carol Teague was put together by Jason Pouncey of the fire department.

&uot;It’s a way for us to have more community involvement,&uot; said Pouncey. &uot;When we are there during fire safety week, we don’t have the one-on-one time with the kids. With this we do.&uot;

One student from each classroom at the elementary school had the opportunity to get a hands-on look at the some of the fire equipment.

&uot;One student from each classroom will be chosen once a month,&uot; said Teague. &uot;They will have the opportunity to eat lunch with a firefighter and then to participate in the activities with the firemen. We told the students about this new prize in an assembly and they were very excited about it. &uot;

Children were able to hold an active fire hose, learn the proper way to exit a smoke-filled room and even had the opportunity to put on the turnout gear that the fire fighters wear.

The children that are chosen to participate must be deemed a good citizen by their teacher. Before they can do that, certain criteria have to be met.

&uot;The first thing the students have to do is keep their car in the green, which has become one of our mottos around here,&uot; said Teague. &uot;They have to go above their normal classroom behavior and obey all the rules including abiding by the dress code. Then if they get caught doing things like holding the door for someone or being helpful to a guest. Basically we are trying to encourage daily good habits by students and good behavior.&uot;

Pouncey’s idea was to have the fire department come up to the elementary school and give the student’s an opportunity to see how the department handles fires.

&uot;We were delighted and pleased with his idea,&uot; said Teague. &uot;I think it’s a very good idea for our students to see good role models. A lot of them are thinking that the only role models are the ones that they see are on television and that’s just not true. We have local heroes here that can have more of an impact in the children’s lives.&uot;

Pouncey and other members of the Greenville Fire Department plan to make this a monthly event and also plan to work out a similar arrangement with Fort Dale and their elementary classes.