DUBAI // Children were given a taste of what it would be like to be a firemen yesterday while learning some important lessons. The four- and five-year-old pupils were allowed to sit in the driving seat of a fire engine and use its hose during a visit to their school by members of Jebel Ali Port Fire Department. The children were also taught about evacuation procedures, the importance of smoke alarms and what to do in an emergency.
The visit to Jebel Ali Primary School was part of an educational scheme on the hazards of fire. "It is important that they learn from an early age about the dangers of fire and this gives them an opportunity to learn," said Fire Officer Sebastian Alemao. "They will go home today and ask their parents about the batteries in smoke detectors and be more aware of the dangers." About 60 children waited patiently to turn on the hose and spray it.
The experience was enough to convince Harry Berrill, aged five, from Britain, that he wanted to be a fireman. "It was great," he said. "It was really powerful. I think I would be good at this when I get older." Another British boy, Toby Burnside, four, said: "I liked it a lot and we got to learn all about fire. If there is a fire we have to get out of the building quickly and call 997 to get the firemen to put the fire out."
Rachael Wilding, the group leader for the reception year, said the fire department's visit was part of the British School Curriculum. This week they were focusing on emergency vehicles and the responsibilities of the crew. "They know the difference between all the emergency vehicles now and they have learnt valuable lessons about the dangers of fire," she said. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org