SUNSET — The pair on stage may have been clowning around, but their message of fire safety and prevention was serious.
Clowns Gusgus, aka North Davis Fire District Firefighter Shane Dunstan, and Smokestack, aka North Davis Fire District Capt. Chris Tramae, presented fire safety tips to Fremont Elementary students on Friday.
This is the sixth year the two have visited schools in Clearfield, Clinton, Sunset and West Point.
With striped socks, brightly colored wigs and oversized shoes, the firefighters brought fun into safety.
When “smoke” slipped out of an oven and a smoke detector went off, Smokestack came running from back stage to find out what happened. When he saw the smoke, he yelled to Gusgus to get down and to crawl off the stage to a meeting place, which was a mailbox.
North Davis Fire District Firefighter Charlie Coyle arrived in time to put out the fire and retrieve a pair of clown-sized sneakers out of the oven.
“Never, ever put anything in the oven,” Coyle told the pair and the students.
The clowns asked the students what they should do if they or a friend caught on fire.
Gusgus suggested throwing water on the person, but the students shouted, “Stop, drop and roll,” which the clowns did with music playing in the background.
The clowns also taught about medicine safety.
“Never take any medicine unless your mom or dad gives it to you,” Smokestack said.
The clown fire safety program was started six years ago by North Davis Fire District Deputy Chief Mark Becraft.
Dunstan and Tramae went to Clown College in Bullhead, Ariz., to learn the fine art of clowning while teaching fire safety.
Fremont Principal Diane Ramsey said having the clowns come every year is a good reminder for the older students.
Many of the younger students also haven’t heard the safety messages and “when you have humor, you learn better,” she said.
“The kids loved this. Even the older kids were fascinated by the clowns.”