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Fighting fires with education

Fort Myers Beach Fire District delivers safety week program.

October 18, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Fire fighter Rob Ponte strapped on his 80 pounds of gear for the first-grade class and spoke through the face mask to the first grade class.

"He sounds like Darth Vader, doesn't he?" said Heather Lodovico, the PE and music teacher. "But you don't need to be scared, because he's there to help you."

The Fort Myers Beach Fire District visited the school last week for the 2017 Fire Safety Week, which focuses on education and preparation on how to handle a fire. Every year there's a new theme to learn. This year's was "Two Ways Out," said Fire Prevention Specialist Bill Meringino. As part of a family's fire escape plan, the family needs to have two ways of evacuating their home. Then, they need to have a designated meet-up spot, such as the mail box, a nearby tree or the neighbor's driveway.

Article Photos

First-grader Samantha Clark tries on a fire fighter outfit.

"We try to educate them at a young age, not to be afraid of us and to talk to their families," Meringino said. "Hopefully they take this information home to share with their parents, too."



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