Basin Electric employee teaches Beulah students about fire prevention

 

One day during Fire Prevention Week, Justin Feil, training coordinator at Antelope Valley Station, heads back to elementary school.

As a volunteer firefighter with the Beulah Rural Fire Department, Feil and other Beulah firefighters educate elementary students at Beulah Public Schools about fire prevention and safety. This outreach effort, which he’s done for eight-plus years, is part of National Fire Prevention Week, commemorated annually in October.

“It’s fun,” Feil says. “I like being a firefighter, and sharing the fire safety message is important to me.”

Just a few of the key fire safety messages Feil shares with the kids include: don’t play with fire, know how to get out of your house, know your home address, and the classic, “stop, drop, and roll.”

Well before National Fire Prevention Week arrives, Feil is busy developing different demonstrations about fire safety that appeal to students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

One year he made a small, glass house out of clear plexiglass and sprayed fake smoke into it.

“The kids get to see the smoke rising, which ultimately sets off the fire alarm,” he says. “Their reaction is great because they say, “Whoa!”

But the best reactions of the week come from the kids who are selected to ride to school in one of the fire trucks.

The Beulah Rural Fire Department randomly selects one student from each grade level per section to ride in either a grassfire truck or structure engine truck each day during the week.

The night before, the fireman calls parents to let them know their child was selected, and some parents want it to be a surprise for their child until morning.

“You can’t even describe the look on kids’ faces when we pick them up at their homes in the morning,” Feil says. “It’s priceless. Some kids scream; some kids are just speechless.”

The travel route includes a trek down Beulah’s Main Street, where they blast the siren a few times. One block away from school, they turn on the lights and sirens again and drive by the playground.

“All of the kids on the playground run up to the fence to watch the fire trucks drive by,” Feil says. “It’s a blast. Overall, I bet I get just as excited for the week as the kids do.”

Feil says there are about 35 volunteer firefighters between Antelope Valley Station, Leland Olds Station, and Dakota Gasification Company that serve on Beulah, Golden Valley, Hazen, Pick City, Stanton, and Zap’s fire departments.

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