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Emergency responders teach safety
Members of the Jesup Fire Department help a children from the safety house. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Hinesville, Fort Stewart, Ludowici/ Long and Jesup fire departments, joined by the Georgia State Patrol, worked together Oct. 18-19 to educate Smiley Elementary School students about safety.  
The fire departments provided fire safety houses in the front and the back of the school, as teachers brought in their kindergarten through third-grade classes to learn about what to do in a fire.
The fire safety houses are portable trailers that enable children to move through a living room, kitchen and bedroom, while discussing such things as kitchen safety, fire exit drills, smoke alarms, how to call 911, and staying low and crawling below smoke during a fire. Some don’t get any of this taught to them at home, and it’s a great experience for them,” third grade teacher Brenda Whitley said.
Long County firefighter Larry Wagnor noted, “We enjoy coming out and doing this for the kids.”
Cpt. Andra Hart, who heads up the fire safety program at the HFD said, “We always want to teach about fire safety, and we’re glad that we were able to come out to Smiley. We’ll continue to help in anyway that we can in the future.”
In addition to the children being taught by firefighters, the Georgia State Patrol’s Hinesville post had senior trooper Michael Reddish at the school with his vehicle teaching the students about how law enforcement officers are there to help them.    
Principal Sandy Jones had only positive things to say about the experience.
“I appreciate the support from everyone and their departments for coming out yesterday and today, having both firefighters and the trooper was terrific for the kids,” she said.
She noted, “Throughout the years, the firefighters have always supported us, and continued to educate the kids in fire prevention and safety. I know the kids are grasping what they teach, even to the point that one of our students saved the life of a grandparent a few years ago.”
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