Parade focuses on fire prevention
HUNTINGTON -- Hurricane resident Katie Gillenwater has been coming to Huntington's annual Fire Prevention Parade since she was a little girl.
Now, as a mother of three, she comes back each year to enjoy the fire trucks and bands. And, to reinforce the message of preventing fires.
At home, she said her husband has been showing the children how to change batteries in the smoke detectors and how the security system works in the event of a fire.
Those things are encouraging to area firefighters, including the many from local departments who took part in the parade that is held each year during National Fire Prevention Week. Dave Caudill, chief of the Ceredo Volunteer Fire Department, said people across the nation need to pay attention to fire prevention tips.
"The United States has the highest rate of death by fire of any industrialized country in the world," Caudill said. "People aren't properly trained in what to do in case of a fire."
The parade itself offered folks at least one tip, with the theme of "Have 2 Ways Out." Many fire departments will be visiting schools this week, and they want to help them understand that message, which could save their lives if a primary exit is blocked in case of a fire, said Lt. Scott Ramey from the Huntington Fire Department.
He said firefighters from Huntington also will help the children learn to "stop, drop and roll" and the importance of changing batteries in the smoke detectors.
Both Ramey and Caudill also said they hope teachers will incorporate fire prevention plans into their daily lessons.
"I hope the teachers are planning activities to teach them about fire prevention," Gillenwater added. "So they can come home and teach us."