Yalbillinga Boori Day Care enjoy Cowra emergency services visit
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Yalbillinga Boori Day Care enjoy Cowra emergency services visit

by Freya Lucas

April 09, 2021

Children and educators from Yalbillinga Boori Day Care Centre recently enjoyed a visit from Cowra Fire and Rescue, Cowra PCYC and Cowra Police.


The visit, Cowra firefighter Steve Overman explained, was designed to break down barriers within the community and to encourage children to see emergency services personnel as approachable. 


For some young children it can be confronting to see someone in a uniform, he continued, adding that one of the best outcomes from the day was that children who were initially reluctant to approach were “coming up to us and having a great time.”  


Fellow firefighter Muliyan Waters joined the visit, proud to integrate his lived experience as a First Nations person, local resident, and emergency services worker. 


“The safety of all of us, black, white, purple, pink matters, we need to be on the front foot and be proactive,” he shared with local publication Cowra Guardian.


“There was a bit of fear when we came, so it’s about breaking down that barrier, so we have that comfort between all our communities. That’s something Fire and Rescue is really stepping up to the plate to do.”


Julie Kemp, an early childhood teacher at Yalbillinga, said the children loved seeing the firefighters and their equipment, expressing her gratitude to the emergency responders for taking the time during their day to engage in outreach. 


“Hopefully the take home message will be to ask family if they have smoke alarms and if they have a fire plan.”


“We do safety programs but it reinforces the messages when we can have these community helpers come in,” she said.


“Sometimes it’s not easy to get the kids out to events at the fire station or police station, so it’s good when they come to us.”


For those early childhood services who cannot have personnel attend, Duty Commander for Region South 2, Bruce Dowling, suggested visiting the Fire and Rescue website


Heading into cooler months, he promoted the winter fire safety check, encouraging community members with concerns or questions from the checklist to ring their local fire station.


“We want people to understand that if they are part of a vulnerable community, they can come to us,” he said. 


“We are looking for people to invite us in and let us put a smoke alarm in if you need it and give some advice. Because we would prefer someone’s house to be safe and protected.”


To access the original coverage of this story, please see here

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