When Jay Gilbert grows up, he wants to be a firefighter.
On Tuesday the Lakehead Thunderwolves defenceman joined teammate Luke Maw at Westmount Public School, and together with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue’s Anthony Stokaluk, delivered a fire-prevention message to a pair of Grade 4 classes.
“Hopefully the kids can go home and ask mom and dad what their smoke alarm sounds like and get their escape routes planned because like we said in the presentation, it’s preventative measures to stop situations from happening before they do,” Gilbert said.
“Hopefully these kids take something out of this, start asking some questions and just be aware and how serious these kind of things are.”
Westmount principal Anne Marie McMahon-Dupuis said the players delivered more than just a stack of hockey cards to the students.
They also handed out fire-safety related homework assignments. It’s all part of the school’s emphasis on all-around safety.
“It carries that message back to the home,” she said. “They have to go test their smoke alarms at home as well they have to come up with a fire escape plan.”
Having the players deliver the message might make it stick a little longer.
“The hook is the engagement is working with the players from the hockey team,” McMahon-Dupuis said. “The kids are excited to have guests into our school and giving that message.”
Stokaluk, a fire-prevention officer, said the partnership with the Thunderwolves and Tbaytel is all about targeting youngsters and teaching them about fire safety measures.
The earlier, the better, he said.
“What we’re effectively trying to do is change a generation of kids and the way they think about fire safety. It’s a two-fold message,” Stokaluk said.
“By talking to the children it gets our message home to the parents as well. They’re great ambassadors and it’s hard for any parent to not do something that their children are asking them to do.”
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