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.
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.