Babylon Students Learn Valuable Fire Safety Tips

Babylon Memorial Grade School students learned about the importance of fire prevention as well as some life-saving safety tips when members of the Babylon Fire Department, which included Chief Tony Cardali, First Assistant Chief Paul Twardy, and former Chief Brad Maier, paid a visit to the school. They “deputized” Principal Randee Bonagura as the “honorary chief of the school, the acting chief of the day,” as former Chief Maier stated in welcoming her to the community.

Maier then shared some important words of advice with the students. “Know your address,” he told them. “Know how to get out of your house. Get the lay of the land. How would you get everyone out of the house? Have a central meeting place. Know your phone number.”

He also emphasized the most important safety precautions for families to take at home. “Every time you change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Those are the most important pieces of equipment in your house. Don’t have too many things plugged into one outlet.” He added, “If there’s a fire in your house, leave the house as quickly and safely as you can. Don’t go back in to get your iPods. Toys are replaceable, but you aren’t. You are all one of a kind.”

Kelly Maier, daughter of the former chief and a firefighter herself, presented several awards for a contest in which the students had participated. Mr. Rossi’s fifth-grade class won for best classroom project. In the poster contest, Mrs. Lang’s class won for the third grade and Mrs. Henderson’s for the fourth. The sixth graders had taken part in an essay contest: first place went to Carson Brennan, second to Regina Branca, and third to Amanda Guerra. After the awarding, the students went outside to see how the Jaws of Life worked as the firefighters removed the door from a car with this special tool.
Perhaps the most visually exciting part of the presentation was when Kelly Maier dropped two melons to demonstrate the importance of wearing protective headgear. One melon was equipped with a helmet while the other was not. The melon with the helmet remained unbroken, while the one without smashed to pieces on the ground. The desired effect of the demonstration was achieved as students reacted to the sight of the melon pieces on the ground. “Please wear your helmets when you ride your bike,” former Chief Maier said. “It’s the law in New York State, and we want you to be safe.”