GC students get lesson in fire safety

Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
Cowboy Bob teaches kids at Buckeye Woods Elementary School about fire safety. The performance was part of Fire Prevention Week with Jackson Township.

Fire is not a comical topic, but the use of humor and music helped students at Buckeye Woods Elementary School reinforce the concepts of "stop, drop, and roll;" when to call 911; and fire safety.

Dressed in a flame-themed shirt, accompanied by bright red boots and hat, "Cowboy Bob" Gora entertained children in kindergarten through fifth grade with original music and props that included a lasso and fiddle.

His three-prong message was simple, practice fire safety now so you will be safe later. Dozens of students were invited to the front of the school’s cafeteria to practice rolling on the floor as Cowboy Bob ran them through the process of "stop, drop, and roll."

When asked if a family dog stuck in the mud in the back yard was a reason to call 911, the children knew the difference between a real emergency and one not so serious by enthusiastically responding with a loud and resounding "no" when Gora posed the question.

The Oct. 24 event was part of Fire Prevention Week activities presented by the Jackson Township Fire Department in eight area schools. According to Firefighter Anne-Marie King, in addition to local firefighters, businesses in Jackson Township, Grove City, and Urbancrest helped finance the series of 30-minute live shows and fire safety/burn prevention materials.

"It’s fun and rewarding to see kids learn something new that can not only save their life, but also their friends and family," said Gora before the show. "I also do child safety with police departments throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio and try to keep the kids bouncing to hold their interest."

Prior to joining the National Fire Safety Council as Cowboy Bob, Gora worked in the transportation and safety field as an investigator. He is also a songwriter and created the background music and songs for his show in a home studio.

Fire safety links are available at the Jackson Township Fire Department Web site, jacksontwp.org. The information includes identifying safety hazards, apartment safety, creating a home fire escape plan, open burning regulations, tornado safety, and fire drills.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sponsors the interactive U.S. Fire Administration for Kids Web site at usfa.dhs.gov/kids, which contains information on home fire safety, games, coloring pages, a link on how to become a junior fire marshal, and resources for parents and teachers.

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