Central Yavapai Fire District Capt. Brad Davis retires as Fire Pal Brad after 16 years at Lake Valley Elementary School in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Students and teachers bid a farewell at an assembly on April 26, 2011, to the person who taught them fire prevention and safety skills. Davis said he will continue with CYFD for another 14 years or so. Photos by Sue Tone.
Central Yavapai Fire District Capt. Brad Davis retired this past week as Fire Pal Brad after 16 years at Lake Valley Elementary School. Students and teachers bid a farewell at an assembly on April 26 to the person who taught them fire prevention and safety skills.
LVES Principal Tusanne Cordes said Davis also had a presence on the playground, at Read Across America events, and in the cafeteria. He brought the fire truck to spray down students at the end of each school year.
Cordes presented Davis with an LVES ball cap, a framed photo of the current school staff, and a packet of letters and book from the students. After he reads the book, she said she expects to hear what he learned.
Davis has worked at CYFD for 19 years, and he began his Fire Pal stint as a 21-year-old firefighter. A pilot program had been in place for one year at another school when he started the assignment.
Several times as he spoke to the student body, Davis had to stop and compose himself before continuing. At one point, a student called out "It's okay!" and at another, someone shouted "Love you!" which brought a laugh amidst a tear or two.
"I hope this program never goes away," he said.
Davis complimented the cafeteria staff on its extra-large servings to him on Nacho Grande Day, the office staff, teachers, students, and his family. Then he gave the students one last quiz: What number do you call in an emergency? (9-1-1) What do you do if your clothes catch fire? (Stop, drop and roll.)
What do you do if you come across a gun? (Stop, don't touch, leave the area, and tell an adult.) What do you always wear in a car? (Your seatbelt.)
What do you wear when you ride a bike? (A bike helmet.) What do you do every time you cross a street? (Look both ways.) What kind of water do you put on burns? (Cool!)
Davis said he will continue working at CYFD for another 14 years or so. He introduced Lake Valley's newest Fire Pal, Karl Postula, 22, and then bid farewell. He said he knows he will continue to see former students (and their children!) away from school and around town.