Saugerties schools mark fire prevention month

Noah Wannamaker (second from left), a Grade 5 student at Grant D. Morse Elementary School, helps Zach Harris, a lieutenant with the Centerville/Cedar Grove Fire District, spray a foam machine.

October is Fire Prevention Month and the Saugerties Central School District used that designation to help educate students at each of the District’s four elementary schools about fire safety.

Students got the chance to see fire trucks up close, hold some of the equipment firefighters use on the job, and listen to the different alarms associated with firefighting. Some classes were also invited to participate in different fire prevention demonstrations.


Noah Wannamaker, a Grade 5 student at Morse Elementary School, was selected to help Zach Harris, a lieutenant with the Centerville/Cedar Grove Fire District, hold a firefighting foam machine while spraying firefighter Kyle Rompella of the same department. Wannamaker said it was a lot of fun.

Glasco Fire District Chief Michael Sasso said, “The different demonstrations are meant to help students remember and understand the dangers of fire, and reaching kids at an early age is extremely important.”

This year’s Fire Prevention theme was “Every second counts, plan two ways out.” “That means, aside from the main entrance to a room, people should also be aware of a second exit, like a window or a back door,” Sasso explained.

Each school held their own demonstrations, which included learning how to exit a smoke house, practicing stop, drop, and roll, and spraying a fire hose. C.M. Riccardi Elementary School also had a surprise visit from a LifeNet of New York medevac helicopter, which landed in a field near the school. Students there were able to ask questions of personnel and sit inside the helicopter.

Saugerties Fire Department firefighter Joseph Orsi teaches Zelen Xie how to spray a fire hose at a target.