Frankfort Fire Chief Charles Conigliaro posed a question to fifth-graders on Tuesday about fire safety.
“Does everybody know what to do when the smoke alarm goes off,” he asked.
Conigliaro said just like for a sport, or a musical instrument, practice is an important part of having a successful escape plan at home. He said 300 deaths occur a year in the United States from fires, and asked the students to make a promise to talk to their parents about fire safety.
“Do we have a good smoke alarm? Do we need batteries? And do we have a plan? If we don’t, we need to get one,” he said.
Conigliaro spoke at the fire safety station during the Farm & Home Safety Day at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds on Tuesday. The was the thirteenth year the Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored the event for fifth-graders.
“We want them to be able to identify safety hazards and to know how to react to them,” said Deb Michael, event coordinator.
There were an estimated total of 525 fifth-graders from Benton Hall Academy, Fisher, Herkimer, Mount Markham, Poland, Remington, St. Francis de Sales and West Canada Valley elementary schools at Tuesday’s event. This makes for approximately 6,500 Herkimer County students who have been through the program and “learned valuable safety lessons to last a lifetime and maybe even save a life,” according to information distributed by the SWCD at the event.
The flyer also stated “The first step in preventing accidents is being able to recognize hazards and knowing how to correct them. By creating an environment where children and families think safety first, we can protect what people love — their children, family members and friends.”
The 16 stations covered animal safety, snowmobile safety, electrical safety, fire safety, emergency 911 procedures, Internet safety, Dig Safely NY 811, poison ivy and poison oak, pool and water safety, lawn equipment safety, bicycle safety, Lyme disease, mechanical hazards, sun safety, disability awareness and emergency medical aid.
A power take-off entanglement demonstration — where students could learn how quickly an injury can occur by viewing a dummy entangled in the PTO — was canceled because of the rainy weather.
State Trooper Paul Carner talked with students about bicycle safety. He showed them the proper way to signal passing cars when riding a bicycle so others know what they are doing.
“Basically [the bicycle safety] program is about bicycle safety and proper helmet use,” said Carner, emphasizing the helmet use. “It’s very important to catch them at this age.”
Carner said anyone younger than 14 years of age is required to wear a helmet. He said he wants kids to learn to get into the habit of wearing their helmets because of the dangers that may occur.
Page 2 of 2 - “We find that the more serious and fatal injuries are because someone didn’t have a helmet on,” he said.
The message reached Benton Hall Academy student Noah Timmerman.
“I learned how to do the signals and you have to wear your helmet right,” he said, noting he also enjoyed the mechanical station and the Dig Safely booth.
His classmates also shared what they enjoyed about the program.
“I liked the one where they described the Ride for Missing Children,” said Danielle Eaton. “It gives you confidence to help find the kids.”
“I liked the electricity one. It shows you all the things you can get hurt by and what to stay away from,” said Lyla Hardy.
“I liked the pool and water safety one. At the end, the two people told us how to throw in lifesavers,” said Geena Morotti.
“I liked the ambulance one. They showed you how to stop bleeding if you’re gushing blood,” said Danielle Russo.