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Students from John H. Russell Elementary listen to a fire safety brief, given by a fire instructor from Quantico Fire and Emergency Services on Oct. 8, 2013. The students were in the smokehouse when harmless smoke was pumped in to it to simulate a burning house.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Cuong Le

Firefighters teach students about fire safety

15 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Cuong Le Marine Corps Base Quantico

Firemen from Quantico Fire and Emergency Services visited John H. Russell Elementary School on Oct. 8, 2013 to show the students what to do during a fire.

The firemen used a puppet show to explain about the importance of having fire detectors and checking then regularly.

“We are teaching them this so when they hear the sound, they will know what to do,” said Brian Carneal, fire inspector, Quantico Fire and Emergency Services.

Following the puppet show,  a live demonstration showed the students that firefighters are not bad, but your friends.

“This teaches them not to be afraid of firefighters and not to hide from them,” said Carneal.

Finally the speaker wrapped up with a puppet show talking about the importance of “Stop, Drop and Roll.”

“The most important thing that we want them to learn is what to do in the case of a fire,” Kristen Smith, teacher, John H. Russell Elementary.

When the presentation was over, the students were routed to a smokehouse where harmless gas was pumped in to the room. Here the students learned how to check doors for heat and reviewed the information they previously learned.

“When the kids start out, they are scared. But once they get familiar with us they start to relax and answer more of the questions that we ask them,” said Charlie Mcmahon, firefighter emergency medical technician, Quantico Fire Department.

After the smokehouse presentation, the student used what they learned to escape from the house.

“We get a lot of positive feedback from the children,” said Mcmahon.

The students also toured  a fire truck and an ambulance, where they, once again, reviewed fire safety rules. 

The final stop for the students was a house constructed to look like a living room with a fireplace and kitchen. Here the students pointed out the fire hazards placed in the room.

“I see it throughout the year that they are remembering [the training],” said Carneal. “They retain it and they take it home to their parents.”

The students ended their lesson and returned to class with a better understanding of what to do in case of a fire.


Marine Corps Base Quantico