Red Balloon Day at Guthridge school

FOR the fourth year, Guthridge Primary School in Sale hosted a National Red Balloon Day event, helping local fire brigades raise money, while also focusing on fire safety.

Teacher and Red Balloon coordinator Jo Pitt said the school decided to begin the day to help the Sale Fire Brigade.

“We’ve encouraged all the children to wear red for a gold coin donation,” she said.

“My dad, who’s since passed away, was captain of the Maffra Fire Brigade, and he always said the money never went to the brigades here, so we thought we’d have our own event so they could see the profits.”

Sale Fire Brigade took a fire truck and support vehicles for students to inspect, as well as a smoke house, so they could learn escape techniques and practice staying low in smoke.

The brigade’s Doug Brack said it was a brilliant initiative.

“The younger we can get them, the better it is, because it tends to stick with them better than when they’re older,” he said.

“All the schools should do it, not just in the district, but across the state — it should be mandatory that they do this.”

The school also undertook a full fire drill, practicing getting out of the school safely.

“The more you practice, the more it becomes entrenched in your mind; it’s the same for the teachers,” Mr Brack said.

“Some of the teachers here are new and they’ve never done it, so to have the whole school do it today, it’s great.”

Ms Pitt added the event  was a great way to show appreciation to firefighters

“It’s a good thing to give [students] the skills so they know what to do if they’re ever unfortunate enough to be in a fire, so hopefully they take that away with them and know how to save themselves and their family,” she said.