Firefighters hope to ease elementary student fire drill fears

Easing fire drill fears at Hamilton Heights Primary and Elementary schools. (WISH Photo)

ARCADIA, Ind. (WISH) — Firefighters will be meeting with elementary school students on Friday to talk safety and emergency preparedness.

Jackson Township Fire Chief Jeff Muzcar said a fire alarm went off at Hamilton Heights Primary and Elementary Schools this week, and some students were fearful to leave the classroom and evacuate because they knew the suspected Florida school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, pulled an alarm at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to get people in the hallways before opening fire.

Muzcar says he wants to reduce fear and anxiety, so he plans to walk students through a fire drill to help them know how to respond.

The fire alarm that went off earlier this week was an error, but had that been a real fire, these leaders want to make sure kids know what to do and how to respond to that and other school emergencies.

“It’s basically propagated us to say, ‘Hey, let’s be proactive and actually meet with these kids and do an interactive fire drill with us by their side so they’re not alarmed or scared and we can answer any questions they may have,'” Muszar said.

Friday’s drills will include students in preschool through fifth grade.

Those local fire departments are also working on adding additional training in the future with other public safety agencies.