Papua New Guinea
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Fire Service visits Butibam primary

For the first time ever, Butibam Primary School had a visit from the Lae Fire Service team yesterday afternoon.

Students and staff gathered to learn about the first steps to take during a fire emergency, for example, if they are in a building, they should quickly exit it as well as notify others of the danger.

They were told that if their uniform catches fire, they should stop, drop and roll. Rolling around on the ground will help to quickly and effectively extinguish the fire, instead of using their hands and getting burnt in the process.

Students and staff were given the opportunity to ask questions, and a firefighter even got into his firefighting protective gear and named and explained the role each piece plays.

Their presence was well received by the school, with the deputy headteacher, Asa Thompson, outlining that early this year, one of the teacher’s houses caught fire and their senior students put it out using buckets of water.

“Back then, they did not know the (fire) tips but they used their own initiative to put out the fire,” he said.

“But now that we had this awareness, this has boosted them and they are now well-equipped to snuff out a fire.

“I commend the Fire Service. This was very, very helpful, remarkable and the great effort they put to conduct an awareness in a settlement school like Butibam Primary School.”

Lae Fire Station commander, Superintendent Luke Munguas, transferred from Port Moresby to Lae on February 11th this year. Since then, he and his 22 officers have set an objective to conduct fire awareness around the communities and schools.

“If you go through our Lae Fire Station Facebook page, we are emphasising more on awareness,” he stated. “That’s one of the things we have been doing and I believe that is one of the reasons why we do not experience a lot of fires.

“We have three shifts working in the fire station so one shift is concentrating on kindergartens; they are writing letters to kindergarten administrations and they go and conduct fire awareness to them.

“The other shift concentrates on junior high schools and going up to secondary schools. The other is responsible for the tertiary institutions around Lae.”