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Arapahoe students first to get safety training from Bike and Safety Rodeo

Apr 14, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Other county schools will receive lessons in April and May.

Students from Arapahoe Elementary School showed off their new helmets and knowledge of fire, water, bike and school bus safety during the 2014 Bike and Safety Rodeo. Injury Prevention Resources sponsors the event each year at elementary schools in Fremont County.

Every student will go home with a new helmet even if they already own one, said safety education coordinator Tom Cunningham.

This year, roughly 3,000 students in grades K-3 will participate in hands-on education. They will learn how to dial 911 for an emergency and learn about smoke detectors and alarms, helmet safety, and booster seats and safety belts. Other interactive education will teach students about water safety in pools, lakes, rivers and bathtubs and lessons on safe activity on and around school buses.

"We want to make sure they're safe," Cunningham said. "It's just something good we can do for the community."

He added that some students already have participated in the rodeo. Reoccurring activities such as field trips, bicycling and swimming mean that it will be beneficial to repeat the lessons.

"The reminder is good," he said.

This year, an additional 700 students in the county will receive new helmets, Cunningham said, and nearly 280 students engaged in the informational booths at Arapahoe.

The inflatable fire house took students through a kitchen where they learned about hot cookware and extinguishers. When asked what they should do in case of a fire or a smoke alarm going off, students said they should get out the house. Their instructor directed the group of students to crawl on their hands and knees toward an exit. He explained the importance of creating an escape plan and the best way to exit the building.

A helmet fitting station showed students how their helmet should fit so it could protect their head in case of a fall. Students also were invited to bring their bikes from home to receive a bicycle safety inspection, and an obstacle course showed them how to cross the street when using a bike. The students also were excited to learn that if they were seen by a police officer riding their bikes with a helmet they would get a ticket for free ice cream.

Future rodeo events will be April 21 at Gannett Peak Elementary School, May 1 at St. Stephen's Indian Elementary, May 2 at Shoshoni Elementary School, May 15 at Jackson Elementary and in remaining elementary schools throughout May. The rodeo is sponsored by local community partners.

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