By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer
Dressed in goofy clothes and red-and-white face paint, a group of Muskogee firemen nevertheless preached a serious message to area children this week.
Firemen, dressed as clowns, gave a series of fire safety presentations this week as part of National Fire Prevention Week.
Fire Marshal Ray Bob Daniels said about 1,300 children between the ages of 3 and second grade filled the Muskogee Civic Center this week for the shows.
The theme of the week was “Have 2 Ways Out,” Daniels said. Fireman Steve Beauvais, who narrated the shows dressed as a clown named “Nic-Nac,” said they wanted to stress to children the importance of an escape strategy during a fire.
During one skit, the assembled clowns tried to exit their “home” during a fire. The group ran to the front door, but exited out a window after one clown placed his hand on the door.
Nic-Nac and the group explained to the kids why this was important.
“He placed his hand on the door to see if there was a fire behind it,” Nic-Nac said. “It was hot, so they all went out the window.”
All of them, that is, except for “Green Bean.” The clowns met at their predetermined meeting place, did a head count and noticed he was missing.
They called 911, and suddenly the pink fire engine staged inside the Civic Center lit up, much to the children’s enjoyment.
A fireman exited the truck, entered the house and pulled “Green Bean” to safety.
Children also saw — and participated in — instructions on how to “stop, drop and roll,” along with other safety tips, ranging from avoiding playing around the stove to the difference between “tools and toys.”
“We’re teaching kids safety when they’re young,” Beauvais said. “Hopefully it makes a difference.”
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.