Almost 50 local child care professionals attended a fire safety training workshop last Saturday at the Thomson McDuffie County Library. The five-hour class was sponsored by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. McDuffie County Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Sewell and Lt. Ed Lewis were the instructors.
"The state fire marshal's office actually developed the class and we have to be certified through them to teach the class," Assistant Chief Sewell said.
Broken down into modules, the course covered the importance of teaching fire safety to children, fire sources, smoke alarms and sprinkler systems, chaos-free evacuations, inspections, arson, prevention and safety.
Ruby Tucker of Grandma's Angels said each room in their facility has a mapped evacuation plan, but she learned in the training that they need two plans for each room.
"We will make changes this week," Miss Ruby said.
Miss Ruby and her coworkers also shared amusement over the instructions pertaining to routine fire drills. The staff at Grandma's Angels holds regular drills, much to the delight of the children.
"They don't get scared at all," Miss Ruby said. "They're just happy they get to go outside."
Participants took a test at the end of the mandatory class, according to County Extension Agent Carolyn Richardson. Each individual scoring 75 percent or better received a certificate from the state Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner which is good for three years.
Assistant Chief Sewell said only four of the first time test takers needed remedial work before passing the test.
"I think it went real well," he said. "We were very pleased with it."
The county fire department offers the class year round for any daycare center. For more information, call the department at 706-595-2045.