• Carey Meitzler

Picayune Fire Department strives to give students "a good start" to a great day


Jared Schubert (left) and Nicky Lee greet students at Roseland Park

If you happen to be driving in the vicinity of a Picayune elementary school on a Thursday morning between 7:00am and 7:30am, you might notice the presence of Picayune firemen greeting students as they exit their buses or cars. The purpose is two fold: To ensure the students know they are cared about and build a bond between students and emergency personnel.

On Thursday at Roseland Park Elementary, firemen Jared Schubert and Nicky Lee , were enjoying their weekly interaction with the students as they exited the buses.

"It makes you feel good to see them smile, give you a high five. Just to see them happy is important, " Lee said.

Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown said this program is an approach that was suggested by the school principals.

"In the past, we have gone into the schools and taught public safety and presented related materials in the classes. We wanted to try something different, so prior to the school year, Barry Lee (Assistant Fire Chief) met with the school officials and let them know we wanted to make some improvements. We felt like we could do things a little different and we wanted to be there and welcome the kids, and on some mornings, we bring the K-9 (dog) as well. We’re just trying to help them have a good start for their day.”

Barry Lee shared, “In some cases, children have a negative perception of anyone in a uniform. We want to try to change that and show them the positives of interacting with emergency personnel and anyone in a law enforcement capacity as well. If we can get them to understand that a uniformed person from fire, police, and any other agency is here to help them, we believe it will benefit everyone in the long run.”


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