Families will have the chance to tour a firehouse and learn about fire and carbon monoxide safety this Saturday during two open house events at Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue station and the Longview Fire Department Main Station.
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue’s open house will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include activities like a bounce house, face painting, stove safety, fire hose spraying, crawling under the smoke and planning a fire escape, according to Cowlitz 2’s Facebook page.
The Longview Fire Department Main Station will also hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with fire sprinkler demonstrations, snacks, the Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog.
The event caps off a week of fire prevention education in local schools during which elementary school students learned about escape routes and fire safety tips — like stop, drop, and roll — from firefighters.
Longview students in the Mint Valley and Robert Gray elementary schools also learned about the dangers of carbon monoxide as part of Project Airy the Canary.
Kris Hauschildt, who started the program last year, said she wanted to educate people about carbon monoxide safety after both her parents died from the odorless, colorless gas in a hotel room.
During Saturday’s event at the Longview Fire Station, Longview families could receive one of 100 free carbon monoxide alarms her foundation will distribute. The alarms will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, Hauschildt said, and vouchers for the alarms went home to all Longview elementary students in their Fire Prevention Week packets.
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Hauschildt also developed a series of activities for teachers to do in their classrooms before the open house to help teach students about carbon monoxide. Hauschildt said teachers also get an alarm for their classroom and stickers to give to students.
The program easily ties in with fire prevention week, Hauschildt said. This is the second year for the program at Mint Valley, Hauschildt said, and the first year at Robert Gray.
“We’re hoping to continue to grow the project in the district and make a model we can put on the website to share,” Hauschildt said. “Eventually, we’d like to reach all the schools in the district and branch out to Kelso, as well.”
Hauschildt chose a canary as the mascot because canaries were the “original carbon monoxide alarm” for miners, she said, and it has another bonus for students.
“It helps the kids understand the difficult concept,” Hauschildt said.
Hauschildt said a life-sized mascot will make its debut at the Longview department’s open house this year.