Fire safety lesson at Marlboro Elementary

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 5:19 PM EST
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MARLBORO, Vt. (WCAX) - Penguins may like the cold but at Marlboro Elementary School, a special flightless friend on Friday was warning about the dangers of fire.

Pedro the penguin was teaching local students how to be prepared. And who doesn’t like penguins?

“They go flip flop flip flop,” said Frida, a 2nd grader.

“Kids are actually our best advocates,” said Abby Kelly with the American Red Cross, which uses Pedro to teach kids about fire alarms, how to exit from burning buildings, and the importance of safe meeting areas. “They are the ones who go home and say to their grownups and household members, ‘We need to do this.’”

The fire alarm itself is foreign to most kids so they practiced the startling sound. “They are not familiar with what they sound like and they go and hide instead of practicing that plan,” Kelly said.

Stop drop and roll still applies to burning clothes but “get low and go” is another technique the kids worked on. “It was a practice so we could do it at home if there was an actual fire,” said 2nd grader Landen.

The training comes after the region has seen several fatal fires. “Obviously we can’t completely prevent these things from happening, but we can mitigate the risks,” Kelly said.

And the experts say one way to do that is to start education early. The program interacts with roughly 3,000 students every single year across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.