The Tyler Public Library had some special guests Wednesday during story time. For the library's annual Fire Prevention Week activities The Tyler Fire Department firefighters from Fire Station 1 made a special appearance to teach the kids about firefighters.
After the traditional story time songs and the book “Firefighter Duckies!,” firefighter Blake Jordan donned his full gear.
"Don't run away from him," firefighter Ryan Biggers said. "He's not scary. Go touch him and give him a high five."
Over 70 kids, parents and grandparents listened to the story and went up to the front of the room to see Jordan up close in his full gear. The event allows kids to see firefighters up close and personal. This practice allows kids to experience firefighters in a friendly safe place to prevent them running and hiding if they ever experience a fire.
"The interactive lessons with the gear are so valuable," Youth Services Librarian Linda Gray said. "Studies have shown that kids would hide during a fire because firefighters don't look human to them. Kids will even run and hide from firefighters who are trying to save them."
Once Jordan got out of his gear, the group was led out to the parking lot to look at the fire truck and equipment.
The firefighters opened up all the compartments and took out the hoses, axes and sledgehammers. The kids were able to come up and touch the tools.
"This education can save their lives," Gray said. "The more often they see this, the less afraid they will be of firefighters."
Austin Daniel brought his 2-year-old daughter, Evelyn, to story time.
"We enjoy story time," Daniel said. "We didn't know this was going on today, but this is a really great message."
Gray said she looks up National Fire Safety Week and works with the fire department to come out and interact with kids during story time.
"We're like big kids," Jordan said. "We blend in really good. It's awesome to be out here with the kids."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Fire Prevention Week Program
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Thursday
WHERE: Tyler Public Library Taylor Auditorium, 201 S. College Ave.