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VIDEO: 1,000-plus students learn fire-safety training in Metchosin

The expo’s purpose is to teach kids how to be safe within the community

More than 1,000 students had the opportunity to learn about fire safety during an annual expo in Metchosin Tuesday.

“We have had an estimated attendance of over 20,000 children over the years,” Langford fire chief Chris Aubrey said of the 25th Lance Caven Fire and Life Safety Expo on April 16. It was recently renamed in honour of Caven, who died of work-related cancer in 2023.

“He used to say, ‘Safety never takes a holiday,’” said Aubrey.

Caven was instrumental in shepherding the expo. Aubrey said he would continue to help out even when he was battling cancer.

“The assistant chief’s legacy of courage and dedication is a beacon guiding us as we continue our mission of protecting our communities,” said Bob Beckett, former Langford fire chief.

The children attending the expo Tuesday learned various skills, such as stop, drop, and roll, fire-extinguisher training, anti-bullying, emergency preparedness, exit drills in the home, bike safety and more.

“We’ve tailored the expo so the kids are getting the message to stay safe,” Aubrey said.

One of the critical lessons that students learned was the proper use of fire extinguishers, said Lt. Dallas Lozoway of the Colwood Fire Department.

“As simple as they look, there are a few little steps you have to go through in order to use it properly,” Lozoway said.

Lozoway said a common misconception is that small extinguishers help put out larger fires.

“A fire extinguisher of that size is probably only good to look after a pot that might be on fire.”

Children from the Sooke School District could interact with and put out a small controlled fire.

“P for pull the pin, A for approach, S for squeeze the trigger and S for sweep back and forth,” Lozoway said.

The children learned about three types of fires: solid materials, liquids or gas, and electrical failure.

The expo has adapted and changed over the years, with different demonstrations to help improve the safety of the kids attending, Aubrey said.

“We used to do fireworks safety back in the Wild West days when kids were blowing their fingers off,” he said.

The expo’s purpose now is to teach kids how to be safe within the community, and it has added things like anti-bullying demonstrations.

“Because as far as safety goes, that’s a common occurrence for youth,” said Const. John Varley of the West Shore RCMP Community Policing Unit.

READ MORE: Langford fire chief calls for change to end firefighter cancer deaths

Lt. Dallas Lozoway and firefighter Justis Hambly of the Colwood Fire Department prepare to give a demonstration on proper fire extinguisher operation. (Thomas Eley/ News Staff)
A controlled fire is put out safely by a student at the Sooke School District who were attending the 25th Lance Caven Fire and Life Safety Expo in Metchosin. (Thomas Eley/ News Staff)

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