Clowns teach residents fire safety tips
Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Grapevine Fire Rescue came to SMU to put on a show for students living in resident halls in the South Quad on Wednesday evening.
While it was a lighthearted and fun event, its purpose was to teach students about fire safety.
Cockrell Hall Resident Adviser David Bass said, "this is the first year we are doing this, and RAs are giving away prizes to help bring students to come watch."
He added that, "inspections are coming up, so it's a good way to avoid that $150 fine for inappropriate items."
The Grapevine Fire Rescue, or Bucket's Safety Brigade, showed up in a red truck and big red trailer. Two clowns put on an improvised skit for the students.
The clowns' skit was about going to college and what one clown, Buckets, should or shouldn't bring to school. He showed items like microwaves, candles, toasters and waffle irons to display a few items not allowed in the residence halls.
The clowns interacted with the student audience to keep everyone on their toes. Each time a student helped with a part of the skit, they were given a prize like a $25 gift certificates to local stores and restaurants.
The Brigade started in 2001 and performs 60-70 shows a year, normally for elementary schools in the Dallas - Fort Worth area. The idea of the program is to educate children about safety by keeping their attention through entertainment. The members of the group are all real firefighters that volunteer their time creating sets, props, costumes and scripts to help promote safety.
"We are doing something new here today. Usually we have a scripted act with a set, and lines, today, we are completely winging it," Captain Mike Thompson said.
Although the clowns completely improvised their performance, the crowd seemed to enjoy the show. About 35 students sat on the grass enjoying cotton candy, popcorn and laughs.
After the skit, four more prizes were given to the students who attended.
Senior Roshel Aghassi came to the event because she saw the free cotton candy. When she saw the clowns she decided to stay.
"There should be more programs like this, it was a fun experience to find out what you're able to have and not have," Aghassi said.
Senior Joaquin Acevedo was just passing by when he saw the crowd of students and two clowns.
"This was a relaxed and easy break after taking four tests today," he said. "It was a nice and fun waste of time."