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Instilling safety awareness in pupils: grade 2 visits the fire station in New Bund area

29 Nov 2019
Firefighters are dubbed ‘retrograde people’. Whenever a fire breaks out, our instinctive response is to run away from the flames, but firefighters have to rise to the challenge and put out the fire as quickly as possible. It is admirable that they prioritise saving others before their own safety. In October, Huili’s grade 2 pupils had the opportunity to visit the fire station of the New Bund area and get to know these heroes in person.
Under the guidance of the firefighters, pupils were divided into two groups to tour around the station. One group paid their first visit to the fire engine and inspected the various firefighting equipment used by the professionals. Pupils were thrilled to see the ‘transformer Optimus Prime’ in real life— in the form of a brand new red fire engine. Through one of the firefighter’s on-site explanation, they also learned about basic firefighting equipment, including steel ladders, hoses, portable fire extinguishers, protective apparel, forceable entry tools, first aid gear, as well as a general overview of their functions and usages.
Then, in an orderly manner, pupils got into the fire engine, where they could take a look at the firefighting devices inside the vehicle. While pupils and teachers found it difficult to climb the ladder into the fire engine, one of the firefighters explained that they were trained to be able to leap into it in just two steps, because when they are in mounting up for a rescue, time is precious and they cannot afford to waste it.
  Pupils were awed by the demonstration of swiftness and surety, giving them a hearty round of applause.

Another group went to firefighters’ dormitory first. Once they stepped into their rooms, pupils were impressed by the well-organised spaces and tidy living areas.  Then, a firefighter showed them how to fold up a quilt to make it look like a piece of ‘bean curd’. Naturally, pupils asked: “   Why do you have to fold up bean curd-like quilt?” The firefighter told them: ”It is a good tradition borrowed from Chinese soldiers’. Folding this kind of quilt can train troops to have an awareness of discipline. Troops with a good image and solid discipline are more likely to have a good sense of togetherness.”  After the firefighter’s explanation, pupils realised the significance behind this seemingly mundane task. They also understood that whether you consider firefighters, soldiers or schoolchildren, we all need to coordinate to create a positive spirit and image as well as a sound environment where everyone can learn and excel.
The most amazing part of their visit was witnessing the practical exercise. When seeing firefighters quickly slipping down the pole of over ten metres, pupils gazed in amazement. Surely, even few seconds matter for them, considering that they race against time as they rush to fight fires and save lives. With the pupils already excited and impressed, the firefighters then brought out the high-pressure water hose and ran to the scaling ladder. They climbed to the floor with the simulated fire in a blink of an eye to carry out their firefighting work without hesitation.
Eventually, the firefighter Mr Wang at the fire station shared with our pupils some practical firefighting knowledge, such as how to prevent fire hazards, how to dial 119 if a fire breaks out, how to escape, dangers caused by fire, and a brief overview of the evolution of firefighting apparatus and the functions of firefighter uniforms.
This visit to the fire station in the New Bund area enabled our pupils to enjoy a closer look at the essential rescue work that firefighters carry out every day. They gained a clear understanding of fire disasters and the importance of fire prevention. Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, something that we all must bear in mind.