Fire Pals teach, entertain students

Cal Fire engineer Chelsye Jenkins sings and dances during the North Valley Fire PALS program at Paradise Intermediate School. (Nick Baker/Paradise Post)

Dispatch Dora, Johnny B. Cool and Sergeant Safety were a few who taught more than 100 kindergarten through sixth grade charter school and home-school children about safety Wednesday morning at Paradise Intermediate School.

A collaboration of Butte County firefighters, Cal-Fire firefighters, Butte County sheriffs, Butte County Public Health officials, Paradise firefighters and paramedics mixed together to form the North Valley Fire PALS, Cal-Fire Information Officer Janet Upton said.

Fire PALS performed skits for the children teaching them various safety tips by dressing up and using pop culture. Fire PALS gets the children in-volved and makes the safety lessons stick, Upton said.

“The retention level is great,” she said.

Fire PALS has three documented cases that involved children who used the lessons learned from the skits, Upton said.

“That makes it all worthwhile,” she said.

One 8-year-old child called 911 during a medical emergency when his mother became so distraught she didn’t know what to do, Upton said.

“He called in calm as a cucumber,” she said.

“And he knew his three ‘w’s,'” said Yvette Streeter a fire prevention officer for the Town of Paradise.

She played Dispatch Dora who told the crowd of children to know what the emergency was, where it was and who was involved. Another one of the saves credited to the Fire PALS education were two brothers who knew to leave their burning home and stay out, Upton said.

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