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Pembroke hosts public safety day
safety day 1
Bryan County Fire Chief Otis Willis and Jason Blalock with BCFD show Bryan County Elementary School students the inside of the Bryan County Command Center Thursday during Public Safety Day in Pembroke. - photo by Crissie Elric

Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and public safety displays dotted the recreation park in front of Bryan County Elementary School Wednesday when the city of Pembroke hosted a public safety day in honor of Georgia Cities Week.

Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell said the event was planned as part of Georgia Cities Week to recognize local public safety services and educate the community.

Since more than 600 children  came through the event, she deemed it a success.

“We have had great attendance and the weather has been perfect,” Warnell said. “I think the students have enjoyed it and have learned something—and they’ve all had great manners.”

The event featured classes on bicycle safety, fire safety, hurricane preparedness and more for students at Bryan County Elementary School and Bryan County Head Start. Students could explore fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and the Bryan County Emergency Services Command Center.

The Air Evac Lifeteam also made a special stop by the event for students to enjoy and explore. The pilot and crew members answered questions from students that ranged from how much the helicopter weighs to how long it took the pilot to learn to fly and how much the helicopter cost.

Fifth grader Jessica Hammond said she enjoyed seeing police officers she knew at the event, but also enjoyed learning about fire and bicycle safety.

“I learned that bike safety is more than just two signs and I learned about fire safety,” she said.

Other students said they enjoyed exploring the Bryan County Command Center where students learned how the mobile center works. Students were able to explore the center, which is equipped with cameras, satellite telephones and much more technology that comes in handy in the face of disaster.

Bryan County Emergency Management and Drug Free Coalition director William Collins said allowing the students to get a hands-on experience with safety equipment is important.

“The best thing is we’re not in a classroom telling them about it,” Collins said. “They get to touch it, feel it and see what we do.”

Collins added that since he works with Bryan County EMA and DFC, he can tie all the elements of drug prevention, hurricane preparedness and safety together and educate students more.

Bryan County Elementary School fourth and fifth grade teacher Shannon Patterson said her students were very excited about attending the event after two weeks of testing in the classroom.

“It’s a big treat getting to see things you don’t typically get to see —you see them, but not what they do,” Patterson said.

Being able to explore the public safety equipment, Patterson said, gives them a new opportunity to learn.

“I think they don’t realize they are learning because it’s so interesting and sometimes exposure like this also can help set kids on a career path,” she said.

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