On Friday, April 19, Payson Elementary School (PES) first grade students learned all about the professionals that keep the Rim Country safe.
The students were treated to a campus visit from the Payson Fire Department, Native Air, APS, Payson Police Department, Search and Rescue, Department of Public Safety (DPS), Gila County Sheriff’s Office and Payson Regional Medical Center.
Each group brought vehicles and equipment to the PES field to show the students how they keep people safe.
“The purpose of the day was to get the kids comfortable with the equipment and what it’s used for and to meet the crews,” said Stacey Summers, Title I reading teacher at PES and president of the Gracie Lee Haught organization. “I heard a lot of the kids saying, ‘I’ve never met the police before, they’re good guys too!’”
Summers said each group taught the children something valuable about safety.
The Tonto Rim Search and Rescue representatives told the students what to do if they got lost.
The Payson Police introduced their canine companion from the canine unit.
The Payson Fire Department told the first-graders about “Stop, Drop and Roll” if they caught on fire, then let them climb on the fire truck.
DPS discussed bicycle safety. “The students learned how to signal if they want to turn left or right,” said Summers.
Native Air personnel made the students comfortable with their helicopter. With the closest trauma unit in Phoenix, most auto accident victims get flown in a Native Air helicopter.
At the end of the day, the Gracie Lee Haught organization gave out bicycle helmets to the complete first grade class.
“We gave out over 160 helmets,” said Summers.
Summers said she hopes to have the PES safety day each year.
“I’ve never heard so many kids say it was the best day of school ever,” she said.
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