DANVILLE — Area firefighters are observing Fire Prevention Week this week by teaching children to be safe during a fire.

Leslie Young, chief of the East End Fire Department in Mahoning Township, told kindergarten students at the Danville Primary School they need to make sure they have an escape plan and practice an escape drill at their homes. "Everyone should have a meeting place," she said, similar to the baseball field used as a meeting place during school fire drills.

She showed a smoke detector and told kids they should have one in their room. She said there should be at least one detector on every level of a home. 

When the smoke detector sounds, get out of the house and go to the meeting place, she said. "Don't go back inside for anything until the fire department says it's safe," she said.

East End volunteer Gina Horne put on firefighting gear, which weighs 50 to 60 pounds. "A firefighter has to be able to put on gear in 60 seconds," Young said.

When Horne spoke through the air tank breathing apparatus, she sounded like Darth Vader from Star Wars, Young said.

Horne also gave high fives to the students.

Firefighters met with primary school students during assemblies Tuesday and showed them their firetrucks.

Greg Bloomquist, of Southside Fire Company in Riverside, and his son, Alex, a junior firefighter, fielded questions from students about their truck and its tools. "You are asking some tough questions," Greg told a group.

Southside Deputy Chief Jon Stassel, Southside Lt. Sarah Johnson, Valley Township Fire Chief Mike Kull, East End Engineer Greg Neff, Southside firefighter Guy Fleck and East End firefighter Gracie Dickson were also on hand.

Members of the Danville Fire Department visited Lutz Preschool on Tuesday.

Firefighters also visited Busy Little Beavers, St. Cyril Preschool and Kindergarten, Danville Child Development Center on Wall Street and on Bloom Road and Liberty Valley Intermediate School.

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