Matthias Mannion enjoyed seeing a fire truck at the North Rockhampton Library.
Matthias Mannion enjoyed seeing a fire truck at the North Rockhampton Library. Allan Reinikka ROK260718afiries1

Fire-fighters host storytime show and tell with CQ kids

GROWING up to become a fire-fighter is a dream of many young kids.

Considered heroes by many in our community, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers visited North Rockhampton library yesterday to let local children know just what it takes to save lives.

Matthias Mannion, 4, and his mother Umeka, were excited to get up close and personal with a number of fire-fighters at the library's Lively Story time.

Local fire-fighters, including senior fire-fighter Damien King, read stories about fire-fighting to the children and their parents and later delivered a show and tell session with a fire truck.

Matthias has been learning about emergency services at kindergarten and was excited to see a real life fire truck in person.

"It's important not to be afraid of [fire-fighting] and know what it's about,” Umeka said.

"It's exciting because kids don't usually get to see it.

"We're going to the Fire Services Day on Sunday because that's always fun.”

Fire officer Damien King reading to children at North Rockhampton Library.
Fire officer Damien King reading to children at North Rockhampton Library. Allan Reinikka ROK260718afiries2

Matthias, who wants to grow up to drive monster trucks, said seeing the inside of the fire truck was his favourite part.

Station officer Wayne McConachy said the interactive community session was about bringing the safety message to young people and getting kids used to seeing officers and not being scared.

"If we can present a real fireman telling a fire story out of a book that helps younger people make the connection and they start to see the safety aspects of it and intellectually it helps them grow,” Mr McConachy said.

"We have a specific program for the grade one's that we try and present to every grade one person in Central Queensland.

"It reinforces this certain message about dialling 000 and the 'stop, drop and roll' message... and if parents are around, we talk about smoke detectors as well.

"It's something we are quite proud of and something we've refined over the year and found to be a really good thing.”

Mr McConachy said public education is important for the community as more information about the equipment and roles of fire-fighters can ensure their services are properly utilised.

"The books present a bit of a mystique and we say 'here we are, we're real people',” he said.

"We do some pretty heroic things at times that we are quite proud of and sometimes we get to do some scary things.

"It's our sense of safety and our sense of commitment to the community that we are able to do what we can as quickly and safely as possible.”



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