EDMOND — Learning about safety brought smiles to the faces of 28 children this week at the Edmond Fire Department Children's Safety Village.
The children, ages 4 to 7, ended the three-day spring break program with a safety challenge allowing parents and grandparents to see what they had learned.
Kaelan McBrayer, 7, liked playing in the fire department's Children's Safety Village, an educational center for elementary school-age children. The $700,000 village is made up of miniature buildings and tiny streets, creating a setting where children can learn a variety of ways to be safe.
“It is good,” Kaelan said after completing the challenge. “I like playing out here. I learned a lot of different ways to play.”
Her mother, Sandra McBrayer, said, “She came home with a lot of information, particularly about gun safety and poisons. We had introduced that, but she came home with good questions and information.”
Kaelan's younger brother, Seth, 2, has been listening to his sister this week, and is ready to go to the class when he is old enough.
The children learned about safety with motor vehicles and bicycles, as well as pedestrian and water safety. Other topics were falls, poisoning, choking, suffocation and fire and burn prevention.
Child-size firefighter coats and hats were worn by the children while going through the safety course challenge. As the children maneuvered through the obstacle course, they answered safety questions.
After riding a bicycle through a course, participants used a water hose to knock over an orange cone that represented a fire. They climbed through tunnels, knocked open a door and carried a dummy named Rusty to safety.
Firefighters hold the classes four times a year. The Children's Safety Village is on 1.6 acres east of the Cross Timbers fire station, 5300 E Covell Road.
“We have kids who come back, and we keep reinforcing the safety messages,” said fire Maj. Mitch Rainwater. “If one or two more things stick with them, it may save their lives.”
One child has attended the program four times. He still draws pictures and brings them to Rainwater.
“He just might be a firefighter some day,” Rainwater laughed.