One of the highlights of the school year for any elementary class is a visit by a local firefighter for story time, or better yet, a trip to the fire station itself.
With schools closed and strict social distancing guidelines in place, it will be a long time before either of those things can happen again — in person, anyway. But, thanks to technology, Clackamas County firefighters are now offering virtual tours of local fire departments, and even story time, to engage children and families in the comfort of their own homes.
In these virtual tours, firefighters or “tour guides” explain how equipment carried on the apparatus functions and what each firefighter’s duty is when responding to emergency incidents. A firefighter also reads aloud a picture book of their choosing for children watching at home.
The first episode was released this week, featuring Clackamas Fire engineer Steve McAdoo and firefighter A.J. Stuck, who offer a tour of a firetruck based at Station No. 10 in Beavercreek and then read the book A Mammoth in the Fridge by French author Michaël Escoffier and illustrator Matthieu Maudet.
“We know this can be tough, especially for the younger children of our community that really enjoy coming to the station and getting to see where we live and what we do,” said Clackamas Public Information Officer Brandon Paxton. “Our goal is to open our doors remotely to continue to connect with our communities.”
Clackamas Fire plans on releasing these virtual tours and story times at least once a week while the governor’s stay-home order is in effect. They will be release on the district’s YouTube channel and through various social media platforms.