• 61°

Ridgewood students learn safety tips

By Mary Meaux
The News staff writer
PORT NECHES — Second graders at Ridgewood Elementary School got some hands on safety tips courtesy of Martin Transport and the Port Neches police and fire departments on Wednesday.
Firefighters Jason Marioneaux and Cody Phelps instructed students on what to do if there’s a fire in their home. The first thing — yell ‘fire’ as loud as you can. Students sitting in a row in front of the firefighters outside the school then demonstrated  their vocal skills.
“Once you get outside, don’t go back in for your dog, your cat or your toys,” Marioneaux said. “We put on our gear to save them.”
Phelps donned his full bunker gear with breathing apparatus to show children what a firefighter might look like entering their home. Familiarizing the students with how a firefighter might look during an emergency is one way to help students during an incident.
“I love it,” Marioneaux said after one session of students had exited to another area. “And the fact they know what to do in a fire situation.”
Both Marioneaux and Phelps are fathers; Marioneaux has three young daughters and Phelps has two young sons.
“The kids are the best part of this job and we’re here to keep them safe,” Phelps said.
Nearby Port Neches Police Sgt. Clint Nichols and Det. Cheri Visser spoke with students on bicycle safety, seat belt safety and other tips. The officers handed out hacky sacs to the children during their presentation.
Students also had a chance to sit inside a big rig courtesy of Martin Transport as part of Shell Safety Day 2015. Driver Lynard Stout helped the students inside the cab where they sat behind the wheel and caught a glimpse of the sleeping quarters while Scott Easley, safety coordinator, explained the ‘circle of safety.’
The second graders lined up single file at the rear of the parked rig then proceeded forward toward the cab. Stout honked the horn at the precise point where he could see the students thus demonstrating the ‘circle of safety’ and the driver’s blind spot.
Ridgewood teacher Paisley Ware watched as the students moved from one area to another learning safety tips. The second graders enjoyed the demonstrations, she said.
Addison Blotner told Ware that all of the advice was great and she was glad they came to the school while Jaxon Doyle said he learned that during a fire you must first leave your house and not worry about your pets “because the firefighters will get them.”
E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com
Twitter: MaryMeauxPANewsRidgewood-firefighters