Dozens of area elementary students saw the inside of an ambulance Thursday.
They were not being transported due to injury, but instead, were learning in a comfortable setting what might happen if they were.
This was one of several demonstrations and stations at Lincoln Elementary School Thursday during an event sponsored by Safe Kids of McPherson County. The two-hour family fun night included information aimed to educate USD 418 children and their families how to stay out of harm's way.
“I think it’s good to make kids aware of what goes on and get them so they’re not so apprehensive about it,” Melissa Beede of Lincoln Elementary said.
Safe Kids is a worldwide organization broken down into smaller jurisdictions and run by a coalition of local agencies. Its aim is to prevent childhood injury.
The organization covers a variety of topics, such as texting while driving and wise recreational practices. A bicycle rodeo is scheduled for June 8.
The McPherson County branch ran a booth at the event, which provided information for proper bike helmet and car seat use, as well as the dangers of medicines. Many medicines, for example, look very similar to candy and can are harmful if found by young ones.
“If the parents learn with the children, they can reinforce it at home,” Tammie Henson, coordinator, said. “And if they model the behavior, the kids are more likely to follow it.”
For their annual fundraiser, second-graders donated about $500 to Safe Kids of McPherson County, which was given at the event.
John Helmer, captain with McPherson EMS, said events like this help students see emergency responders as a source of comfort instead of fright or intimidation.
“It’s a big help because if they see us around town at events like this and get hurt later, they see us more as friends,” he said.
Brandon Naylor from the Board of Public Utilities set up a yellow truck with a bucket. Children could climb onto the truck and see how the bucket is operated. BPU also provided information on electrical safety, as well as allowed students to try on thick rubber gloves that are worn when holding electrified wires.
Danica Brunk, 7, said this was her favorite station of the evening because she likes to be up high.
Identi-Kit provided a free service that would allow parents to have information ready for police if their child ever goes missing. The students had their pictures taken, fingerprints collected and were swabbed in the mouth for DNA samples. Parents were then given the packet of information to store in a safe place, while Identi-Kit kept no records.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s nice to know you’ll have it, and it’s all there together,” Rebecca Buller said after going through the process with her two boys.
K-9 officer Richard Rogers allowed children to look at his police car and ask questions about his four-legged work partner, Bruno.
Two representatives from the McPherson Fire Department gave away plastic firefighter hats and let children sit in the fire truck cab.
Beede said in addition to teaching safety, children had the opportunity to learn about various careers.
“It was a way to get the community helpers involved with schools and their families,” she said.
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