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INDEPENDENCE – Area kindergarten classes visited the Independence Fire Department this week as part of Fire Prevention Week. The students were given a demonstration of the gear worn by firefighters, allowed to climb through Ladder 1 Truck, and shown some of the firefighting equipment, including hoses, the jaws of life, pinchers/spreaders, an axe, and a fan.

They were shown not to be afraid of a firefighter, although they wear heavy coats and face masks. They were told to run to a firefighter for help if caught in a fire.

They got a refresher on when to call 911 (and when not to); listened to a pager call; and shown the big wall maps of the county and the city of Independence used to plan a route to a fire. Some classes received homework, such as counting the fire alarms in their home, reciting their address, and practicing an escape plan from their home in case of a fire.

The Independence Fire Department also reminds everyone to form and practice with your family how to get out of your home in case of a fire. An escape plan should have two exits and a designated meeting place. Operation E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drills in the Home) will start at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, October 9, when the “tornado sirens” are activated.

Once you have practiced your exit drill, turn on an outside light to let firefighters know you participated. They will be driving around the city to count house lights. Come out and give them a wave.