Matt MacIntyre and Mark Pettigrew at Dunsandel Fire Brigade with the artwork donated by local school students

School brightens fire brigade

by Ann van Engelen

The children of Dunsandel School have been involved in the Firewise programme and presented the local volunteer fire brigade with not just an art display but also money they raised to support the volunteers.

“We teach all pupils about fire safety annually as things change every year, and we need to keep them up to date. They learn things like talking to their parents to ensure they know their phone numbers, farm numbers and addresses in case they are the ones who need to call the emergency services,” says Matt McIntyre.

“We do a mock house fire with an inflatable house that is pitch black. The children learned to crawl and find their way out, so they know how dark it gets, and how high the smoke rises in a real fire.

“The students from Room 2 then surprised us with a poster they made. It shows the community with houses and cats up trees. We hung it in the station straight away, and it really brightened the place up.

“They also raised $100 through a social science project doing odd jobs as they decided we are the heroes of the community and wanted to show their appreciation.”

The children wanted to get something for the fire station volunteers.

“They had ideas like a toaster, a SodaStream machine and a lolly jar. We really appreciate what they did as we don’t expect anything. It was really special and adds a nice touch from our close-knit community. We are very unique and really pull together through thick and thin.

“We are also working on a logo to personalise our T-shirts and jackets when we go to places such as the Sky Tower Stair Climb. The children are presenting their ideas. The artwork we have seen so far is outstanding and shows what they believe our community is.”

School principal Dave Robinson says they appreciate all the fire brigade do teaching fire safety.

“It is a real benefit to the school, and our children love having them here.

The firemen always comment on how much information the children remember from year to year.”