LAVALLETTE — Lavallette’s Volunteer Fire Department hosted a field trip of Lavallette Elementary students last month, providing for an in-depth learning experience centered around fire safety and prevention.
Led by Assistant Chief Vincent Craparotta III, the program was aimed at giving an “age-appropriate” lesson in fire safety and prevention to the kids. The field trip, which took place in October, included children from preschool and fourth grade.
“Our team of dedicated firefighters conducted age-appropriate sessions for different grade levels from preschool to fourth grade ensuring that the content was accessible and relatable to all students,” said Chief Michael Hajisafari, who is also a teacher and the supervisor of curriculum and instruction at Lavallette Elementary.
“Every year, we’ve been doing this for as long as I’ve been a part of the department,” he said. “Becoming the chief, I really wanted to get the school even more involved so we kind of upped the involvement of the students and got it to be a bit more interactive. The kids love it, the firefighters love it; It’s just a glowing success.”
The students got a firsthand look at firefighting equipment and recommended procedures to follow in the case of an emergency; these included identification of fire hazards, development of fire escape plans, understanding of the importance of smoke alarms and proper usage of fire extinguishers and water cans. They also had the opportunity to tour the fire department and unique apparati like a water rescue Jet Ski.
“We changed it up a couple years ago. Originally the firefighters would bring over a truck to the school and the past couple of years we’ve made it a walking field trip,” he said, explaining that the students go down to the fire department on a small stroll from their school, which is just up the street.
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