Members of the Rankin Inlet Volunteer Fire Department passed on their message of fire safety to students in Rankin Inlet to mark Fire Prevention Week in the community from Oct. 7 to 13.
Rankin Fire Chief Mark Wyatt said five firefighters made presentations to students, with Catherine Tatty-Kabvitok taking the lead.
“I think fire-prevention programs have really made a difference in terms of the number of fires that are prevented before they start and that’s not just up here but all over Canada,” said Wyatt.
He said he’s quite pleased with the effort put forth by the firefighters who stepped-up to help out with the fire department’s activities during Fire Prevention Week.
“Catherine (Tatty-Kabvitok) did a dynamite job with the kids this year,” he said. “She really interacted well with the kids and did a great job with her public speaking in general.
“From my perspective, she was one of the shiest people I had ever met when she started with the fire department a little less than two years ago and things have really changed in that regard.
“She’s come out of her shell and she’s doing an excellent job with fire prevention.”
Firefighters made presentations to students at Leo Ussak School based on this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, which is look, listen and learn, said Wyatt.
“It’s about looking for causes of fire, listening for your fire alarms, learning how to put out fires and learning two ways out of your home in case of fire.
“I find teaching the kids really helps to educate the adults, too, especially the kids who are a little older because they often go home and talk about what they’ve done.
“They convince their parents to do fire drills in their home and that type of thing, so they know, if a fire happens, what they need to do to get out of the house.”
Wyatt said the school visits are usually held during Fire Prevention Week.
During the rest of the year a number of kids visit to tour the station and the firefighters will take that opportunity to talk to the younger kids about fire prevention, as well.
The department also held a fire prevention open house at the fire station on Oct. 13. The event featured a number of presentations, tours of the station and hall, the selling of raffle tickets and a barbecue.
“We’re looking to recruit new members right now and I’m also looking at putting a burn together.
“If I can get my hands on the sea can I want, we’ll build a small living room in the front of it so we can demonstrate just how quickly fire spreads in a living-room situation, let it burn a bit and then put it out.”
Wyatt said members of the local department do as much as they can to promote fire safety and prevention throughout the year, but there’s only so much they can do.
“We do our best to keep people aware of having working smoke alarms all year and carbon dioxide alarms in the winter.
“Fire safety and prevention is super important because preventing fires before they start is much better then running to fires and having to put them out after.”