Students converge on Be Ready DayPublished 5:21pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013
By Josh Bergeron
The Selma Times-Journal
Dallas County students crowded into Bloch Park Wednesday to learn about emergency preparedness as a part of the 2013 Be Ready Day.
The 6th annual event is a part of National Preparedness Month. The event included a myriad of local and state emergency preparedness agencies and 1,084 students — more than last year’s event, but less than the 1,200-student record.
Dallas County Emergency Management Agency Director Rhonda Abbott said the purpose of the event is to familiarize students with emergency personnel.
“We target schools so the students aren’t afraid of police or emergency situations,” Abbott said. “Agencies all do a different job, so we try to unify our message.”
Abbot said she also tries to teach students to draft an emergency plan with their parents.
“Complacency kills,” Abbot said. “We distribute coloring books and informational material. We hope the students at least take a part of the message home.”
The emergency preparedness message may also be useful in the classroom.
Southside Primary School teacher Fran Spivey said the event fuels students’ curiosity and sparks future conversation.
“I think that it is fun for them most of all,” Spivey said. The students are so curious and this gives them a hands-on approach. When we get back to the classroom, I can also use the experience as an example.”
Students began the day by walking around to different booths, such as the American Red Cross and the Selma Fire and Rescue Department. Emergency personnel explained the contents of the vehicles and fielded general questions.
But one emergency vehicle clearly drew the most interest from teachers and students.
Just before 11 a.m., students gathered on Bloch Park’s grassy field to watch an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter land.
Students flocked to the helicopter shortly after it landed to catch a glimpse of its contents. Air Evac Lifeteam crew members explained their jobs and the various parts of the helicopter.