American Red Cross holds Safety City for kindergartners

| June 24, 2019

Coshocton City firemen, Andrew Akers (in gear) and Zack Mills, talk to the children at Safety City about fire safety. After he was in gear, Akers showed the children how a fireman would be crawling to find them and what he would sound like when he was talking so they wouldn’t be afraid and hide from a fireman. Jen Jones | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Two buildings at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds were transformed into a classroom and a miniature city for children attending Safety City.

“Safety City is seven days long and we teach the children many things to keep them safe as they start kindergarten in the fall,” said Sher Alloway, the facilitator for the week. She said about 45 children are attending the program. “We have two sessions each day. One is from 10 a.m. to noon and one from 6 to 8 p.m. The program originated in Mansfield in 1949 after a child was killed by a car.”

Alloway said the children are taught street safety, such as the meaning of signs and how to cross a street safely. “They get to ride on tricycles around our little city and practice following the signs.”

“Frontier Power comes and shows the kids what to do if they see a power line down. First Step teaches “good touch, bad touch. The children are taught bus safety and ride to the playground at the Coshocton Elementary where stranger danger is rehearsed. The EMS brings a squad and the kids can lay on the gurney and have the blood pressure cuff put on. The sheriff’s office K-9 units visit. They are also taught gun safety by a deputy and we ask that parents attend that class as well,” said Alloway.

“Today, the Coshocton Fire Department is here. They bring the smoke house and let the kids spray the hose. Deputy Mox and Chili are also here.”

Andrew Akers, Brent Endsley and Zack Mills were the city firemen who brought the fire truck and smoke house to Safety City. Akers said he feels showing the children what firemen look like in full gear is important so they know not to be scared when the children see them. “The more they see us in gear, the less scared they will be. And they will know what to expect when we arrive at a fire.”

Mills said education is one of the most important parts of their job. “Education will help prevent fires, which is the best thing for everyone. If we teach kids about fire safety, they will tell their families. Obviously, prevention is what we want. And the kids seeing us will help them learn not to be afraid, not to hide.”

Endsley is the fire prevention officer for the city. He believes Safety City is important because an emergency can happen at any time. “The earlier we can teach children about fire safety so they know how to react, the better. I really enjoy talking to the kids and teaching them.”

“Our local program is completely funded by our local United Way. Jedda at Extreme Rentals loans us a refrigerator, Auer Hardware is a huge supporter and we have adult and teen volunteers that help put on the program,” said Alloway. She also wanted to thank Coshocton County Fairground employees, Doug Caton (Coshocton’s Disaster Supervisor) and Ryan at Rootwear for the t-shirts.

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