Kids learn safety at the public library

Cove Leader-Press

The Copperas Cove Police and Fire Departments joined together to teach kids about staying safe at the Copperas Cove Public Library. 
The safety lesson was held both inside and outside of the library on Wednesday afternoon as Lt. Robert Hicks of the Fire Department and Officer James Dudden of the Police Department each led mini classes on staying safe. Lt. Hicks’ portion focused on fire safety while Officer Dudden focused on bicycle safety. 
Hicks and his fellow fire fighters, Matt Rodgers and Calvin Simpson, taught the rapt audience about how important it is for them to make an escape plan in case of an emergency, as well as how 9-1-1 works.
“I want them to learn the importance of having a meeting place for their family and an escape plan for their house, of knowing how to call 9-1-1 and knowing why they should dial 9-1-1. That way, in the event that something happens to their parent or guardian, they can get the help they need and quickly.”
During the presentation, Rodgers donned full firefighting gear to show the children that firefighters wearing gear are not scary. The children were able to get an up-close look at Rodgers in his gear, some even took the opportunity to touch the gear.
“It was great,” said Jeremiah Pena (6). “The firefighter was cool.”
Officer Dudden used his portion to stress bicycle safety. He encouraged children to stay out of the street, and to always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
Afterwards, the eager children were invited to check out a fire truck, police car, and a police motorcycle.
The event concluded with the children having the opportunity to shimmy their way under an obstacle made to simulate staying low to avoid smoke inhalation.
Kayla Rodriguez brought her son Aiden Rodriguez (5) to the event. “He really enjoyed it! He’s going to be like, ‘Let’s make an escape plan for if we have a fire!’ as soon as we get home,” Rodriguez said, smiling. Rodriguez added that her son has already completed his reading goal and that she likes the fact that the library holds a Summer Reading Program each year.
The Summer Reading Program concludes next week with pizza parties or those who met their reading goals. The teens will have their party Tuesday at 2 p.m. The younger children will have their own pizza party at 1:30 p.m. or 4 p.m.

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