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Bedford Schools Continue to Find New Ways to Carry On Old Traditions


firefighter and student spray firehose Adaptability continues to be the theme for this school year as teachers, students and staff find safe ways to incorporate beloved traditions into the new learning environment.

 One of the annual highlights at Bedford Hills Elementary School is a visit from Bedford Hills Fire Department during Fire Safety Week.

“In the past, the presentation took place in the cafeteria and then the students went outside,” explained Elementary Coordinator Jacquelyn Salcito. “A teacher usually put on all of the fire protective gear and a firefighter always crawled through the crowd of students to show how they travel through a house that is on fire. We also allowed students to get into the fire truck.”

To keep everyone safe this year, the district made changes to ensure social distancing. Instead of taking place inside, the presentation took place out on the blacktop where there was more room to spread out. Firefighters walked, rather than crawled, through the rows of students, so the students could see a firefighter in full gear in hopes of making it less scary during a real emergency.

For the hands-on portion of the presentation, students did not go into the firetruck (which is a tight space), but did get a chance to see some of the tools firefighters use. They also had a chance to use the hose, which was sanitized between each student.

“The kids had such a great time!” Salcito said. “And the fire department was so flexible in working with us to make the event safe!”

Principal Zbyněk Gold echoed Salcito’s sentiments.

“We were so happy to be able to have the Bedford Hills Fire Department meet with our kindergarten students this year,” he said. “They were great about taking the needed precautions and ensuring the students know how to be safe if there is a fire. I know our students benefit from seeing how other members of our community find ways to serve others and I hope it will inspire them to volunteer when they are old enough.”