The Carthage Fire Department came out to Carthage Primary for a fire safety show Friday morning.

Fire Marshal Randy Lietke spoke to the children about what to do in the event of a fire and how to prepare for that possibility.

“It would be a good thing for you to talk about at home and to practice a fire drill,” he said. “So when that fire alarm goes off, or that smoke alarm goes off, you hear the beep, you get on your feet, you get out of the house. Everybody in your house, whoever sleeps in the house should know everybody needs to meet in a certain same place.

“You need to have a common meeting place,” Liedtke said. “Maybe that’s at the end of the driveway; maybe it’s at the mailbox, maybe at the neighbor’s house. It doesn’t matter where, everybody needs to know the same place, because after you call 911 and give us your address and tell us your house is on fire, even before the fire truck arrives we are trying to gather information.”

In the event of a fire, they’re going to ask if everybody is out of the house or not, Liedtke told the children.

“So we want you to get out, and we want to know, we’re going to ask if everybody’s out,” he said. “When we get there, that’s going to affect our decision making, as to what we’re going to do. So we’re going to risk our life to save anyone else’s life, your life, or anyone’s life that’s in the house. We’re going to risk everything to go in the house and to try and find you and get you out safely. But if you tell us everybody is out of the house, and your house is burnt enough that it’s about to fall in, we’re not going risk our firefighter’s life just to save stuff, because we can buy more stuff; we can get another house. We can get more stuff, but we can’t get another you.”

Fire department mascot Patches, a remote-controlled Dalmatian in a miniature fire truck, rolled around the floor with lights and sirens and was a big part of the fire safety show. Children were delighted by the dog as he drove around the circle and squirted some of them with water.

Lietke assigned kids some homework during the fire show, asking them to tell their parents, grandparents and adults in the home that they needed to change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

“So you just keep on bugging them until they change the batteries,” he said. “Say hey, it’s time, it’s fire prevention week, the time’s about to change, and it’s time to change the battery in our smoke alarm. Can y’all do that for me?”

The children responded with a chorus of yes.

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