GEARHART - Members of the Gearhart Volunteer Fire Department went back to school Thursday.

The fire officers were on hand to teach fire safety to Gearhart Elementary School students in honor of Fire Prevention Week.

"What do you do if your clothing catches on fire?" Fire Prevention Public Safety Officer Lt. Chad Sweet asked.

"Stop, drop and roll!" chorused Jennifer Glasson's second-grade class.

Sweet used a computer game patterned after television's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" game show. Students chose answers to questions on topics like matches, kitchen fires and fire-blocked rooms.

Gearhart Fire Cadet Christ Scott demonstrated a fire officer searching for people in a burning house. He crawled along the classroom floor in full turn-out gear, using his self-contained breathing apparatus.

"Hey, he sounds like Darth Vader," several students giggled, but all agreed that Scott was not nearly as scary as the "Star Wars" character.

Sweet encouraged each student to make a fire escape plan with their family and establish a meeting place in case of a fire. He also gave each student the mission to teach fire safety to a younger sibling or friend.

Fire officers gave each student a goodie bag with pencils and fire safety information. They also left yellow plastic fire hats that will be given by teachers to students who make a fire escape plan.

"Fire safety education has a greater impact when the students get to speak to real firefighters," fourth-grade teacher Laurie Dougherty said. "They share their knowledge and their presentations are so interactive. And even though the kids learn about fire safety every year, it's always good to refresh their memories."


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