Congratulations are due the members of Knightdale’s fire department, which found a way to recycle old, unused equipment and make it useful for teaching children in a way that is more likely to stick with them than the traditional model of putting them in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.
Captain Goley Boggs, Lt. Chris Miller and firefighter Candler Thornton use an old trailer and some store-bought puppets along with songs and a bit of theater to impart safety lessons to children – some as young as pre-school age. Their goal is to help students make the right choices when they are faced with a dangerous fire situation.
In essence, the firemen, with the blessing of fire Chief Tim Guffey, have discovered what teachers already new: when learning is fun, it is more likely to be effective. And, to be sure, no teacher of any subject matter – from English to fire safety – wants the lessons they teach to go unlearned.
While it may be a little less consequential to have a misplaced comma, firefighters know the lessons they are teaching could save lives. That’s a heavy-duty responsibility. Knightdale’s fire department has long embraced its role as an educator when it comes to fire safety and the creation of a puppet show to teach children is a testament to the fact that the fire department isn’t just mailing it in when it comes to teaching fire safety.
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It’s impossible to know how many of their students will one day be faced with having to make a decision based on what Boggs, Miller and Thornton taught them, but here’s betting someone will recall that puppet show and the advice they learned and find a way to live another day.