Fire department has new toy

Published 12:10 am Saturday, February 20, 2010

SELMA — The Selma Fire Department was trying out its newest acquisition recently at their station on Broad Street.

The department bought a air-inflated bouncy house and slide that it hopes will aid them in their quest to teach children about fire safety.

“We wanted something different to show the kids,” said Assistant Chief Mark Walker. “We hope that this will be able to teach them in a different way.”

Chief Walker was responsible for the purchase after having money that was left over from a grant.

The remaining money was only to be used for safety and Walker, along with fire prevention director Capt. Tim Watson found the fire safety house to help teach children.

“We are only able to go to schools once a year,” said Watson. “But with this we are able to be at local events and it will just help reinforce what we teach the children.”

The fire safety house has the make up of a normal air-inflated product, but instead of plain walls, there are messages reminding children of healthy habits for fire prevention.

“We want this to help,” said Watson. “What we hope for is that the children will be able to take what they have learned back to their families at home.”

Watson talked about the seriousness of fire prevention.

“About four years ago a child died because her brother was playing with matches,” said Watson. “That story really got to me and I strived even harder to teach the children around Selma.”

Now the new product will help what Watson feels is a program that is already showing dividends.

“Last year a little boy was able to save himself because he remembered what we thought him about staying low to the ground in a fire.” Watson said. “It’s those stories that make this job rewarding.”