In Sept. 30 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
For the fourth consecutive year, Russell County emergency services personnel from all avenues visited with students at Jamestown Elementary, sharing with them what they do, how they can help them and what to do in case of an emergency, according to local firefighter and EMT Zach Burton.
"It went well," Burton said of the event which took place on school grounds for the first time. "It is good that we are able to be inside the schools and get the message out about who we are."
More than 200 students from kindergarten through third grades participated in the popular event on Friday in the school's gymnasium where they heard from local firefighters, police, 911 dispatch, EMS and utilities personnel before going outside where fire trucks, police cars and utility vehicles were opened so students could take an up-close look.
Jamestown Elementary Principal Wayne Ackerman said his students had a terrific time at the event.
"It is a great opportunity for our kids learn the different aspects of emergency services and the importance of safety," he said. "It is vital to them to learn about these services and we welcome them back anytime."
The various emergency response entities each have a role, Burton said and each one were able to describe in detail why they are there to help and what their job is.
"Our overall goal is to teach kids about 911 and what happens when 911 is activated and what they can expect to see," Burton said. "We wanted to be able to plug in different entities."
Students especially enjoyed "Sparky" from the Jamestown Fire Department who also visited with them when the action began outside.
Burton said it was his hope that all county elementary school students will soon be able to participate in a program like the one at Jamestown.
"I've talked to several of the fire chiefs and we have got the ball rolling to do it at Russell Springs Elementary and Union Chapel Elementary," Burton said.
He said it was his hope that a countywide fairgrounds day could be held in the future where all county elementary 4th-6th grade students could attend to learn more about the emergency, fire, police and other services.
A date like that would help further local firefighter's training hours towards their certifications plus help them obtain outgoing community credit hours, Burton said.
"It is all about the kids," he said. "That makes it worth it … its all structured for prevention and child and public safety."
Local firefighter David Coffey also helped out at the event by demonstrating how fast to put on all firefighting gear necessary to battle a blaze.
"I was pleased with it," Coffey said. "It turned out good and the kids really enjoyed themselves."
Coffey said the children at JES gave each of the entities there signed pictures they had drawn of firefighters, police and the like in action.
"That meant more than the whole day," he said.
Burton then wished to thank the administrators at Jamestown Elementary and the Board of Education as well as all those local emergency personnel who volunteered their time to attend the event and help to educate the community's children on various safety issues.