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A Marine from Security Battalion reads to children. The special story time featured first responders such as paramedics, firefighters and military police.

Photo by Ida Irby

Police, firefighters take a break for story time

21 Apr 2016 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

The Marine Corps Base Quantico Fire Department and Security Battalion first responders were the special guests during the toddler story time held at the Quantico Base Library in The Gray Research Center on April 15. The first responders visited children during the Month of the Military Child to promote fire safety among small children.

The one-hour story time is held weekly at 10 a.m. for ages 3 to 5, but was highly attended by many children. Some were as young as one-year-old. Each child received a toy firefighter helmet, coloring book, crayons and home safety brochure.

Songs and dances were led by library technician Kaylee Wilsher, who wrote a special fire-safety children’s lullaby for the emergency response teams to lead. The children’s cheers blended with the deep burly voices of the base firefighters and police officers.

Marines from Security Battalion took turns reading to the group of restless toddlers.

Following the story time, children engaged with a real firefighter in full regalia. The event exposed children to different sensory experiences. As they touched the breathing mask, some could feel air escape and they listened as the firefighter made different sounds.

“These events are comprehensive learning for my girls, not just story time. It hit so many points. They do song with movement, read stories, play music and do a craft,” said Danielle Peralta, a military spouse. “My girls love attending story time here.”

“Having this vigilance in the community teaches children to respect us, and know what to look out for if we come to their house for a fire,” said Adam Burton, 531 Engine Company captain, Marine Corps Base Quantico Fire Department. “Among other reasons, we don’t want them to be afraid of firefighters. We are their friends.”

Before the event concluded, children lined up to climb aboard a fire truck and ambulance with the help of first responders.

— Writer: iirby@quanticosentryonline.com

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