Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Holy Family School receives ‘A’ during fire drill

  • Students and staff at Holy Family School in Hannibal received an “A” for their performance during a fire drill Wednesday afternoon.
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  • Students and staff at Holy Family School in Hannibal received an “A” for their performance during a fire drill Wednesday afternoon.
    “They did very well. Their longest time was 51 seconds, and for the number of kids and for a three-story building, that’s not bad at all,” said Capt. Charles Paxton of the Hannibal Fire Department.
    Joy Hayward, school principal, termed it an “excellent” performance.
    “We’ve practiced it in the past as a school, as a class and now with the Fire Department, and they’ve done a great job,” she said.
    A handful of firefighters looked on as the students and teachers filed out in orderly fashion.
    “They took a look at our drill to see if everything is safe. If they have suggestions for us we’ll take them to heart. We work together to make sure kids are always safe,” said Hayward.
    Something caught Paxton’s eye during the drill.
    “They did something new I’d never seen before. As the older kids exited the building they took the hands of some of the preschoolers and escorted them out so it just wasn’t relying on the teachers to watch them, the older kids actually helped. That was a good idea,” he said.
    After students were allowed to re-enter the building, firefighters did a walkthrough of the structure.
    “It’s better to prevent the fire than have to fight the fire. That’s our goal, to stop any fires before they start,” said Paxton.
    Fire Prevention Week
    Wednesday’s visit to Holy Family School was just one of many visits to public and private schools that the Fire Department has made this week, which is Fire Prevention Week.
    “This week we’ve been doing fire safety drills at all the public and parochial schools here in town,” said Darrell McCoy, fire protection officer. “We show up, set the fire alarm off and test their response time on how long it takes to get out. We also check to make sure they shut all the doors and windows.
    “For the most part everybody always does good. Every once in a while we’ll catch a little something here or there where there needs to be a little refresher.”
    It is not uncommon for firefighters to also talk with students.
    “We do safety presentations for pre-K all the way up through high school,” said McCoy. “The little kids want to see the trucks. The big kids want to know how to be a fireman.”
    Page 2 of 2 - At each stop firefighters share a common message: Make sure there’s more than one way out of a structure.
    “We want parents and school teachers to focus on designing home escape plans in case of a fire or emergency so they have two ways out of the house,” said McCoy.
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