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Overton Elementary kindergartners learn about fire safety

SALISBURY — An excited Zoey Harvey immediately declared she wants to be a firefighter upon seeing a Salisbury Fire Department truck parked outside Overton Elementary School.

The Overton kindergartner, along with about 20 other students, was part of a combined class that learned about fire safety and fire prevention from Salisbury firefighters.

The students had previously learned about community workers and were visited by Salisbury Police Department officers, a flight attendant, a pediatrician and Mayor Al Heggins.

“It’s fun, and you get to help people and wear a uniform,” Zoey said about firefighting.

The students asked questions about the fire service and then were led outside to see the truck, equipment and see how firefighters put on their gear.

It wasn’t Zoey’s first time seeing a firetruck, she clarified.

“It’s great,” she said of the experience.

“What’s the number to dial for an emergency?” asked a firefighter.

“1-1-9?” he asked.

“No,” the students screamed back. “9-1-1.”

Greyson Jones said she’d never seen a firetruck before. She showed how excited she was by jumping up and down. Her sentiments were echoed among other students as firefighter David Keyser opened one of the side doors that holds equipment. All the students shouted.

During October, the students learned about community helpers. After a few delays related to two hurricanes that swept through the region, they finally got a chance to meet the firefighters.

“We really wanted them to incorporate fire safety, learn about why they want to be, and I wanted them to be exposed to different jobs,” said teacher Melissa Davies.

Next year, Davies hopes to expand the lessons and visits from area professionals, saying she wants the students to learn more about their community.

Salisbury Fire Lt. Steven Williams said it’s cool for students to see firefighters up close. In a classroom setting, he and the other firefighters try to explain what they do when they get a call, as well as how to prevent a fire by staying away from matches or lighters.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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