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'Classroom on wheels' teaches fire safety to Commack kids

Firefighters can’t visit every child’s home to make sure they are prepared for a fire, so volunteers from the Commack fire department are taking the house to them.

The fire department purchased a mobile home and revamped it for use as a “classroom on wheels” to show students hands-on safety methods for preventing a fire and what to do in an emergency.

There are two rooms in the trailer, a kitchen and bedroom, and seating for a class of about 25 students. Joseph Barberia, a member of the Commack fire department since 1991, said firefighters take the trailer to all the primary schools in the Commack School District during Fire Prevention Month, in October, and give each class a lesson.

The kitchen lesson is pretty run-of-the-mill, Barberia explained. He teaches the students about the safety hazards of different kitchen appliances and reinforces when to call 911. The next lesson is when things get interesting: Barberia moves the students and their teacher into the bedroom, where he closes the door and explains that they are going to simulate what would happen if a fire started in the middle of the night.

Watch the video to see how the state-of-the-art trailer simulates a fire for students at North Ridge Primary School.

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