Appreciating Our Community Helpers

EMERGENCY DRILLS – Everyone is aware that they are held at least once a month. However, they are held unannounced – as is the case in real emergencies. Having done drills many times already, the children are ready when the drill signals are heard. At Kailua, we do emergency drills with various scenarios. We pretend that a fire has broken out in one of the rooms, kitchen, side exits, 2nd floor of the building, a nearby house or building, and we respond to the situation as needed. We conduct earthquake drills for both small and large earthquakes including one where we evacuate the building and move to an assigned evacuation area from where parents actually come and pick up the children.

The only officially scheduled emergency drill at our school was held on Friday November 6. It was the much-awaited visit of fire officers from the Funabashi City Fire Department. The scheduled activities were fun and had the children excited.

The red fire engine arrived at exactly 9am and parked right outside the school entrance. The children warmly welcomed the four neatly uniformed fire officers and listened to the lead officer explain the drill procedure. We then watched a short film and learned the “O-KA-SHI-MO” fire drill rules. O – osanai (no pushing), KA – kakenai (no running, SHI – shaberanai (no talking) and MO modoranai (don’t go back).

All children had the chance to get into a fire-fighter uniform and to board and cling to the side of the fire engine like real firemen. It was a great experience! Before the fire officers left, we sang and danced an appreciation song “You Are Wonderful to Me”. Aloha!