Each year the Points NE Historical Society invites Pierce County Fire District 13 to educate the Crescent Heights Elementary School students about the importance of water safety. During the two-day event youth rotate through several different stations to tour the Browns Point cottage, boat house and bell house, learn about special knots with the historical society staff and learn water safety and simple rescue tips with PCFD13.
On Thursday, May 31, I was able to catch up with Fire Chief Cliff McCollum, Lieutenant Kyle Michaud and Firefighter/EMT Erynn Mast at Browns Point Light House Park and watch the excitement in action. The youth learn the following:
- How cold the Puget Sound waters are & what happens to our bodies when it enters really cold temperatures.
- The importance of wearing a lifejacket (aka a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) when they are in, on or near bodies of water.
- To encourage adults to also wear their PFD.
- How to throw a life-ring to someone that has fallen overboard or is struggling in water.
- Throw a rescue-rope to someone who has fallen overboard or is struggling in water.
The youth tossed a life-ring at ‘Dead-Fred' (the rescue manikin) to see if they could loop the ring over the manikin's head. Throw a bag of rope in an attempt to get it close to the manikin. Before moving on to the next station they rehearse and enthusiastically shout two chants. The first references the importance of wearing a PFD.
"Reach – Throw – Don't Go"
"I have my PFD. Why don't you?"
Some of the youth were very enthusiastic about saying farewell to 'Dead-Fred' and attempted CPR before a group photo. Don't worry, the fire district puts 'Fred' through worse than nose-picking.
Have a safe summer Crescent Heights Elementary Students!