The Pineville Fire Department, like Santa Claus, always shows up with gifts.
Unlike Santa, they bring the kind that can save lives.
The VFD was at Pineville Elementrary last Friday in observance of West Virginia Fire Prevention Week.
They gave out backpacks with smoke alarms and other goodies and talked to the children about what to do in the event of a fire.
About 400 children from pre-school to kindergarten viewed the presentation during the day.
“Our goal is to educate the kids,” said Chad Vanhoy of the VFD. “When they get out of grade school, they will know what to do (in the event of a blaze), get out of the house and get the family out of the house.”
He thanked the businesses who made donations to make the event possible.
A demonstration of a firefighter putting on the gear and mask was designed to show the children that there is nothing to fear from firemen.
“They’re there to help you,” Vanhoy explained.
“We’ve been doing this for eight years since I’ve been here,” Vanhoy remarked. “We give the a smoke detector every year, and hopefully by the time they leave grade school, they’ll have six for their house.
“I love doing this,” he added. “We all leave our jobs or take a vacation day and come out to do this. We like to promote fire safety for the kids.”
As part of this year’s demonstration, the children got to look over a fire truck. Water was pumped into a high arcing shower, creating a rainbow in the crisp morning air.
Even Santa can’t do that.