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Fire department offers classes for safety month
1004 fire safety month
Engineer Roland Evans and firefighter Terry Satterfield teach a CPR class to Boy Scouts. - photo by Photo provided.
October is Fire Safety Month, and the Hinesville Fire Department is in full swing. Most fire departments throughout the state are offering different types of fire-safety education.
The Hinesville department is promoting the month with a full schedule, but firefighters and officials also are reminding the public that fire-safety education is important all year round.
Chief Lamar Cook and his firefighters learned long ago that the best way to keep everyone safe is to educate people and prevent fires from breaking out.  However, for the HFD, fire safety is just the tip of the iceberg. Their safety education program is as diverse as any in the nation, and offers programs for everyone, from pre-school aged children to senior citizens.  
Here are a few programs children and students can take part in:
• Clown program. This program targets children in kindergarten through second grade. It is intended to teach kids about fire safety at a level they can understand and retain, with a focus on making the education process fun.  The department’s clowns are trained to use skits that deliver simple messages that contain ideas children can pass on to their friends and families.
• Hazard house. This program is for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. Firefighters visit classrooms and use models of houses to demonstrate different hazards throughout the rooms. The firefighter shows the children how these hazards are removed or corrected, making the home a “safe home.”
• Fire safety house. This program targets children in kindergarten through second grade. Students tour a portable mobile unit, about the size of a camper, to learn how to stay below smoke during a fire and the importance of getting out of a structure at the first sign of a fire.
• Baby sitting class. This class is designed for children between the ages of 12-14, but provides information that adults can use, too. With so many families having latch-key children, where an older bother or sister is responsible for a sibling, the class teaches teens how to be responsible and safeguard smaller children and infants. Everyone in this class learns basic first aid and CPR, and will receive certification in these areas upon completion.
In addition to children’s safety and fire-education programs, the Hinesville Fire Department also offers a mentoring program, safety talks, fire station tours and a juvenile program for children who need counseling regarding arson-related cases. Several adult education classes also are available:
• Home safety checks. This program pinpoints different hazards that may exist in people’s homes. Participants learn how hazards  can be corrected, making the home safe.
• Speakers bureau. This program gives area residents an opportunity to meet HFD firefighters. Participants receive information about fire safety and the department. The class can be set up for high schools, civic organizations and individual businesses.
• Gun safety lock program. This program helps responsible gun owners make sure their homes are as safe as they can be. The department will provide any gun owner with a trigger guard to minimize the possibility of an accidental shooting.
• Vial of life program. The program helps people who are on prescribed medication. People taking medication need to let first responders know what prescriptions they are taking in the event they become unconscious. This classes teaches participants to put their medications in a vial issued by the fire department and place the vials in their refrigerators at home. If first responders are ever called to the home, they know where to check for medication.
In addition to these adult education programs, the Hinesville Fire Department offers smoke detector installation, child safety/car seat checks, CPR classes, blood pressure checks, home scald prevention checks and a class on how to properly use a fire extinguisher.  
All of these programs are offered by the department free of charge to Hinesville residents.
For more information or to schedule a program, call 876-4142.

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