Mercedes’ fire prevention week to include student skits

MERCEDES — If residents of this small-but-growing community are unaware that next week is National Fire Prevention Week, it won’t be from local firefighters’ lack of effort.

This is because a plethora of festivities are planned in observance of the annual campaign promoting fire prevention awareness, which this year falls between Oct. 9 and 15. Lieutenant Javier Gracia of the Mercedes Fire Department said local high school students are even lending a hand in the effort.

Activities kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday when MFD members, comprised of staffed and volunteer firemen, will drive fire trucks through town in a kind of procession.

“Basically, we’re just going to be driving around with the lights and sirens on in city streets, making as much noise as we can to make citizens of Mercedes aware that we are kicking off Fire Prevention Week,” Gracia said, adding that banners will be affixed to the trucks promoting fire prevention care.

What’s more, Gracia said the department is partnering with the Mercedes High School Theater Arts program, of which 27 students will perform skits on fire prevention awareness.

“The acts will be about stop, drop and roll, crawling under smoke and practicing drills at home — any and all fire prevention topics that we have right now going on,” Gracia said. “They’re pretty much getting the kids involved and more entertained as well.”

The skits will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, Oct. 10-14, to Mercedes ISD students in grades K-5.

“A lot of times, the kids are really curious and talk to us about what could happen and what to do in emergency situations, so it’s important for us to get out there faster,” Gracia said.

“If we can save a life or two in just 15 or 20 minutes by talking to these students, then I think it’s a great opportunity that the school district is giving us as well. To talk about these topics and about the importance of stop, drop and roll is crucial.”