Gainesville Fire Rescue team reads to kids via Facebook

Fire and Life Safety Educator for Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) Krista Ott has found a way to reach out to kids during the COVID-19 battle.

Ott, who is in charge of teaching the community about fire safety at schools and at the station said, “We are so disappointed to not be able to have our neighbors and friends join us at the fire station or for us to be able to go out and spend much time with them in the community.”

As a way to continue to connect with Gainesville residents and beyond, Ott arranged for local firefighters to read books daily and posts the readings on the Gainesville Fire and Rescue team Facebook page.

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“What we will be doing is posting daily videos of our firefighters reading children’s books on Facebook,” Ott said.

“Please join us on Facebook at 6:30 for story time.”

Readings began on March 20. Each firefighter is filmed seated in front of a fire engine at the station where they work and announces their name and job title before they start reading.

Firefighter Trey Beauchamp, who drives Engine One, kicked off the series by reading “A Day at the Fire Station” a photo book that explains what a fire station looks like and what equipment firefighters use on the job.

GFR Lt. Joe Walker read the book “I’m So Mad” by Mercer Mayer on March 21. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing remains a priority but educating the community and maintaining relationship with citizens is still important, according to Ott.

 “Our number one is to maintain everybody’s health and safety.”

To take a look at the Gainesville Fire Rescue Facebook page. go here.

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