Edgewater PS students promote fire safety with firefighters

Two Rocks Bush Fire Brigade volunteers show Edgewater Primary School students how to use firefighting hoses.
Two Rocks Bush Fire Brigade volunteers show Edgewater Primary School students how to use firefighting hoses.

SUBURBAN primary school students received praise from top brass in WA’s emergency services for their work to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm visited Edgewater Primary School to see the results of their work raising bushfire awareness.

DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm with Year 4 students Xanthe Beltran, Lauren Dicker, Charlotte Camp and Isabella Hill.

The Commissioner, Wanneroo chief bush fire control officer Paul Postma and Chittering volunteer fire brigade captains browsed displays and talked to students across all year groups about safety issues.

Mr Klemm praised the effort put in by students and said their understanding was “outstanding”.

Year 6 students Maryka Dierson, Ellis McPherson, Layla Richards and Scarlett Bell.

“I’m really impressed with the level of knowledge,” he said.

“Take the time during school holidays to go and talk to your family; you need to share that knowledge.”

Year 3 students Ashton Bradley, Amelia Whittle, Aleisha Kelly and Fynn Ingleby.

Teacher Shelly Pannell, who is a volunteer firefighter, organised the visit following a week of bushfire awareness lessons.

Although it is in a built-up suburban area, Mrs Pannell said Edgewater Primary was on the list of schools that were vulnerable to bushfire because there was bushland nearby.

Wanneroo chief bush fire control officer Paul Postma with students George Sherwin (Year 3), Olive Blackie (Year 2), Jack Whittle (Year 2) and Stefan Wagner (Year 3).

“We could be impacted perhaps from the lake or surrounding bush,” she said.

“Raising awareness of disaster resilience amongst the children is really what we are trying to do.”

Year 1 students Zoe Blake, Millie Bearman-Skipworth, Anaia Jacob and Siahna Koteka.

Mrs Pannell said they reinforced messages about fire safety, including that matches were tools not toys.

“At least 30 bush fires in the past few years have been started by children playing with matches,” she said.

“It’s really an important message to put out to these kids.”

Year 2 students Olivia Howe and Alexis Payne had tips on how to make a camp fire.

Students also learnt about camp fire safety, and older classes learnt about bush fire warning levels and importance of being prepared for emergencies.

They put together booklets with tips on what families should take if they had to leave their home in an emergency, even those living in suburban areas.

Year 3 students Tamzin Walczak and Zac Stone.

“These kids are taking vital information home,” Mrs Pannell said.

“Our main aim is for these guys to be the conduit to the adults in the community.”

Year 5 students Abbie Bowerman and Holly Evans had booklets on what to do if caught in a bushfire at home, in a car or anywhere.

Mrs Pannell said three Shire of Chittering brigades and the Two Rocks Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade made separate visits to the school last term to talk to students and do demonstrations.

Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au for more information on fire safety.

Two Rocks Bush Fire Brigade captain Derek Young speaks to Edgewater Primary School students.