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Football meets fire safety as Bronx Buccaneers and FDNY team up for skills and drill camp in the Oval

By MIRIAM QUIÑONES & SILE MOLONEY

An FDNY Safety Education Unit explains to a family of three that if they call the FDNY, the department will send someone to their home and install a free smoke detector. (Left to right, front row) Cristine Alleyne, Oliver Alleyne and Tanisha Hundes, and (back row) Firefighter, Damian Waite, Captain Gerald Rocco, Firefighter, Tom McKeon, at Williamsbridge Oval Park located in the Bronx’s Norwood at an FDNY Football Skills & Drills event on July 30, 2022.
Photo by Miriam Quinones

The following is an expanded version of the story that appears in our latest print edition.

It was a hot but fun and educational day all around as a football skills and drill camp was held at Williamsbridge Oval in Norwood on Saturday July 30, hosted by FDNY Community Affairs, the FDNY Office of Recruitment and Retention, and the FDNY Bravest Football Team in conjunction with the local football group, the Bronx Buccaneers.

The participants received training not only in certain football skills, but also in fire safety, as well as emergency preparedness and CPR. In addition, attendees signed up to have smoke alarms installed in their homes, and there were also lots of fun giveaways and games.

CHILDREN RECEIVE CPR training at an FDNY Football Skills & Drills event hosted by the FDNY, in conjunction with Bronx Buccaneers, at the Williamsbridge Oval, located in the Norwood section of the Bronx on Saturday, July 30, 2022.
Photo by Miriam Quinones

“This event allowed members of the community to participate alongside players from the FDNY football team who performed skills and drills to help lead, motivate and coach the young participants,” a doorman later said. -FDNY statement about the event. “The Fire Safety Education Unit, Mobile CPR Unit and an FDNY Mobile Academy were also in attendance. FDNY members had a great time interacting with the community the Department serves. »

FDNY Captain Gerald Rocco took the opportunity to remind residents and attendees that if a fire alarm goes off in their building, and if it goes off minutes later, they should still call 911 to find out. why the alarm went off in the first place.

MARIBEL GARCIA, 5, SHOWS off her Hula Hoop skills during a timeout at the FDNY Skills & Drills training camp held at Williamsbridge Oval in the Norwood section of the Bronx on Saturday, July 30, 2022.
Photo by Miriam Quinones

As reported, following the horrific Twin Parks Fire tragedy which on Sunday January 9 claimed the lives of 17 people, including 8 children, in a high-rise residential building, home to many immigrant families, and located at 333 East 181st Street in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx, emergency fire safety training sessions have been incorporated into various community meetings in an effort to educate the public on how best to protect themselves in the event of a fire. Meanwhile, a number of new laws have been passed at all levels of government to improve the protection of residents.

However, the FDNY also wanted to ensure that the next generation of Bronxites were trained in fire safety, so the Drills & Skills camp was a fun way to deploy that training, while building important relationships with department personnel.

FDNY MEMBERS provide CPR training to children during an FDNY Skills & Drills Boot Camp held at the Williamsbridge Oval in Norwood on Saturday July 30, 2022.
Photo by Miriam Quinones

Some of the key takeaways from fire safety training are:

DO

  • Call 911 in case of fire, smoke, smell of gas or medical emergency
  • Have working smoke/carbon monoxide (CO) alarms
  • Have an escape plan and practice it
  • Know if you live in a fireproof building or not
  • Close the door when escaping from a fire
  • Keep emergency exits clear
  • Know what to do if you catch fire
  • Locate space heaters at least three feet from combustibles
  • Do Enforce a child-free zone around your cooker while cooking
  • Learn and practice face-to-face CPR

DON’T

  • Don’t play with matches or fire
  • Do not overload electrical outlets
  • Do not use extension cords improperly
  • Do not use frayed or cracked electrical cords
  • Do not leave burning candles unattended
  • Do not use fireworks
  • Do not leave food cooking unattended
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking
  • Do not use kerosene or propane heaters
  • Do not smoke or throw away cigarettes carelessly
PARTICIPANTS IN A Football Skills & Drills event hosted by the FDNY in the Williamsbridge Oval in the Norwood section of the Bronx on Saturday July 30, 2022 pose for a group photo.
Photo courtesy of Tasha Harris-Andrews

Due to the continued hot weather, attendees were also reminded as noted that spray caps are available at local fire stations and can be fitted to hydrants to create a cool, gentle spray. However, opening fire hydrants at full throttle is illegal as it wastes water and can cause a fire hazard in the event of a fire.

As noted, the Bronx Buccaneers have been around for over 20 years and are a full-tackle football group open to children ages 5-14. “Our primary goal is to get kids to the high school of their choice and hopefully provide them with a free college education, said Kevin Spivey Jr., president of the Bronx Buccaneers Youth Football Program. Norwood News last April.

At the time, the Buccaneers presented their case for involving children more in the sport at the March meeting of the Bronx Community Board 7 (CB7) Education, Youth and Library Committee. The local sports group believes that sport ultimately helps students progress on their educational journey and does everything it can to support children on this journey.

PARTICIPANTS RUN A few laps during a Football Skills & Drills event hosted by the FDNY in the Williamsbridge Oval in the Norwood section of the Bronx on Saturday, July 30, 2022.
Photo by Miriam Quinones

To do this, the group has partnered with high schools such as DeWitt Clinton, John F. Kennedy and Cardinal Hayes. An important focal point of the program is academics. To participate, children must have at least an average GPA numerical score of 80. However, Spivey Jr. said they give children the opportunity to offset their score.

Meanwhile, Bronx Buccaneers’ Tasha Harris-Andrews was pleased with the success of the Fire Drills & Skills event held at the Oval. Posting some photos from the event on her social media, she added the message: “Thank you Yvonne, the FDNY Bravest football team and all FDNY departments for hosting the event at the Oval with the team of Bronx Buccs football. It was amazing!”

Despite increased awareness of the need for fire safety, as noted, fires have continued to occur in the Bronx and it has also been difficult for the media to receive details about the root cause of many fires to share with the public.

6-year-old KORI PEGUES SHOWS off her wheel skills during a Football Skills & Drills event hosted by the FDNY in the Williamsbridge Oval in the Norwood section of the Bronx on Saturday, July 30, 2022.
Photo by Miriam Quinones

Harris-Andrews later told Norwood News, “What a great day we had with the FDNY and its various components, especially FDNY football team ‘The Bravest’. Watching our players interact with them was amazing!

She added: “And what a great opportunity it was for them to see that behind the uniforms are real people. It was a monumental day because we usually only meet firefighters in an emergency. Learn about fire safety in a related environment was both fun and educational.

TASHA HARRIS-ANDREWS of Bronx Buccaneers befriends a model during CPR training at a Football Skills & Drills event hosted by the FDNY in the Williamsbridge Oval in the Norwood section of the Bronx on Saturday July 30, 2022.
Photo courtesy of Tasha Harris-Andrews

More information can be found on the Bucaneer’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bronxbuccs/. For more information on how to stay safe in the event of a fire, see FDNY Safety Tips: https://www.fdnysmart.org/safetytips/.