Weatherford Democrat

October 12, 2013

Fire clowns bring laughs, lessons on safety to Parker County schoolchildren


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

Weatherford firefighters have been bringing their message of fire prevention and safety to roomfuls of eager elementary students during fire prevention month.

Thousands of kindergarten through third-grade students at 12 schools in Weatherford and Parker County are scheduled to get a visit from the Fire Clowns, who are teaching kids how to take responsibility for fire safety to their homes and take a stand against bullying.

At Juan Seguin Elementary in Weatherford, students came to the assembly Wednesday afternoon dancing to popular, high energy music before the group of six clowns launched into a Duck Dynasty-clown-themed skit full of oversized props and goofy jokes.

“When you go home, make sure you have a working smoke detector in your house,” Spanner the clown told children after firefighters taught students to test their smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries twice a year.

Children were also given illustrated tips on how to prevent fires in their own homes with warnings about power cord safety and keeping blankets and other items away from space heaters.

The most serious moment of the skit came when Chopper the clown got in trouble with the fire marshal after pulling out a lighter and sparking a flame.

Throughout the skit firefighters also reminded children of what to do in case of a fire emergency at home, including getting low and crawling and making sure to know two ways out.

In its third year, the Weatherford Fire Department program, modeled after the fire prevention program popular across the nation, has expanded in Parker County this year.

In addition to bringing the skit to all Weatherford ISD elementary schools, Victory Baptist Academy, Weatherford Christian School and Brock Elementary School, firefighters have added Millsap and Poolville elementaries to the schedule of the two-week circuit.

Weatherford firefighters have been working and practicing for months to pull off the 20-minute long skit, according to Fire Marshal Bob Hopkins.

They also chose to tackle a non-fire-related theme this year with the topic of bullying, Hopkins said.

The children’s laughter as one clown mocked another quickly grew quiet Wednesday afternoon as another clown stepped in to stop the bullying.  

The dancing and high-fiving that started the skit continued as the young children filed out of the lunch room Wednesday.