Philadelphia Fire Department honors its youngest recruits

Justin Udo
May 22, 2018 - 3:14 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Fire Department honored some of its youngest recruits on Tuesday at its Junior Fire Patrol luncheon. 

For the last 61 years the Philadelphia Fire Department has promoted fire safety through Junior Fire Patrol.

Lisa Desamour, with the fire department, said they go to schools across the city and teach 3rd through 6th graders about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire. "Children are our biggest advocates," she said. "So if we can instill that knowlege in them as far as practicing fire safety, what to do, what not to do, and spread that message for us, it's phenomenal."

In return, the students serve as chiefs, captains, and lieutenants in their school's fire patrol -- where they conduct their own meetings, monitor school fire drills, and help promote fire safety education.

"Our fire patrol is basically our kids promoting fire safety within their schools, within their families, within the communities themselves," Desamour said.

Emmanuel Parrilla, a fourth grader at John Moffet Elementary School, attended Tuesday's Junior Fire Patrol luncheon. He says the lessons he learned in the program are already helping him and his family.

"I called 311, and they came to our house and put smoke alarms up," Parrilla said.

Kevin Eap, a middle schooler at Holy Redeemer, said, "It feels good to have them come teach us all these things. I've learned about fire safety, and how to protect others in case of a fire. Have an escape plan, always check your fire alarms.

Dwayne Frazier, a fire fighter with the department, got his start with the program.

"As a child, it kind of sparked the idea. It put the bug in your mind," he said. "Going to the fire stations and then having the meetings with the Junior Fire Patrol representative, it all was very influential."

During the banquet, the students used different singing and dancing performances to show what they've learned from Junior Fire Patrol.

They also received awards from Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel acknowledging their work in furthering fire safety education and knowledge.