Kearney Firefighters Visit Early Education Center

Students learn about fire safety and public service

Kearney Fire & Rescue Protection District Shift-A Firefighter/EMT Bryan Kipping (left) and Captain Sean Gudde lead a program on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at the KSD Early Education Center.

Kearney, Mo., November 2, 2021: Real World Learning starts really early in Kearney School District.

Members of Kearney Fire & Rescue Protection District’s (KFRPD) Shift-A took time today to visit with students and staff at the KSD Early Education Center (EEC). The event was an opportunity to talk about fire safety and the work KFRPD staff do every day to protect the community.

EEC students and staff fanned out in a semicircle across the floor of the large, open Soper Board Room while Firefighter/EMT Bryan Kipping and Captain Sean Gudde demonstrated the steps they have to take every time there is an emergency call to their station.

Capt. Gudde donned his entire set of gear, including the breathing apparatus, then crawled on his hands and knees to show how firefighters often have to work their way through burning buildings.

“Who knows what you’re supposed to do when there is a fire?” Mr. Kipping asked, followed by a chorus of responses. “That’s right! Get down and get out!”

Mitch Masker supervises Forest Friends and Acorn Patch, the two main early education programs housed in the EEC. These types of visits by public service agencies like the fire department are valuable for multiple reasons, he said.

“We can just talk about fire safety and public service or we can actually get the experts here to interact with the students,” Mr. Masker said. “This is where Real World Learning begins in KSD. These students are totally engaged and many will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

Later, Kipping and Gudde led the students outside to examine one of the station’s trucks. Another firefighter took time to describe to a group of wide-eyed kids the different controls and tools that they use.

“We love visiting schools like this because we know that we’ve got to start getting these lessons across to our children at a very young age,” Kipping said. “Safety has to start from day one, and who knows which of these kids will grow up to become a firefighter and take on that mission. We’re planting those seeds today.”

The Acorn Patch offers children ages 3-5 with developmental delays the chance to reach their potential in the important early years of childhood, giving them a jump-start on the rest of their education. Forest Friends is a preschool class with admission based on a developmental screening, family needs, and other factors. Visit to learn more about the early education programs in KSD.