Kindergartners at public and parochial schools in Seymour visited Seymour Fire Department headquarters last week to learn about fire safety and prevention.

On Oct. 6, around 50 students from Emerson Elementary School took their turn touring the fire station on East Street. There also are stations on West Fifth Street and Meadowbrook Drive.

In all, nearly 500 students toured the station throughout the week.

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The annual visits are part of National Fire Prevention Month in October.

The department also takes a firetruck to local preschools to teach younger children fire safety like stop, drop and roll and a fire safety simulation trailer to schools for fourth-graders to learn safe ways to evacuate a home that is on fire.

Firefighter Jason O’Neal led Emerson’s tour, explaining to students how the fire station is really a firehouse because the firefighters live there in 24-hour shifts.

Students got to see the firefighters’ living room, kitchen, gym and bedroom.

O’Neal pointed out the importance of smoke detectors, especially in the bedroom, and told students to make sure they have a working one at home.

He also said most residential fires start in the kitchen and children should not try to use the stove or oven without an adult to supervise.

Fire extinguishers are good to have available in the kitchen but should only be operated by an adult, he said.

After touring the different rooms, the group gathered in the truck bay and watched as firefighter Matt Montgomery put on his gear to show students what he would look like if he was coming into a burning house to rescue them.

Students left the fire station with a red plastic firefighter’s hat, a shiny red apple and a firefighter badge sticker, but most importantly the knowledge of what to do in the event of a fire.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.