Guam – Students from Harry S. Truman Elementary School’s Head Start Center program visited U.S. Naval Base Guam’s Security Department and Fire Station 1 January 31.
The purpose of the visit was to show students from the program how police dogs are used in base security and to teach them about fire safety.
“The kids are learning about community partners,” said Trisha Rosalin, a parent volunteer at the school’s Head Start Center who helped organize this event. “This teaches them about community and that there are people out there who actually help each other.”
The tour started at security’s training facility. As students exited the bus, they were greeted by Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Shiela McLean. After talking about the things they do, McLean introduced Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Christopher Coolahan, who along with his dog Pluto demonstrated several tactics.
“We showed them a little bit about what the dogs do, about what we do, some of the precautions that you take if you ever come around a military working dog and a few of the tricks that these dogs learn,” Coolahan said.
According to Coolahan, all of their dogs are taught basic commands such as the down command and how to sit and heel, which he explained as having the dogs seated at their handler’s side. Some dogs, like Pluto, are even taught to crawl.
As part of their training the handlers run their dogs through a confidence course, which consists of series of physical challenges. Students watched from behind a high fence as Coolahan ran Pluto through the course, which included a tunnel, large stairs and hurdles.
“It was my first or second time interacting with elementary school kids, which was kind of difficult,” said Coolahan. “But they definitely seemed excited.”
After the demonstration at base security, the students visited the fire station. When they arrived, they were greeted by several firefighters. One even gave the students high-fives as they got off the bus.
Students learned several important lessons about fire safety, such as the Stop Drop and Roll method and what number to call in case of an emergency. They got to watch firefighters dress up in their firefighting gear and even had the opportunity to sit inside the ambulance and fire truck.
Rosalin hoped the students enjoyed themselves while visiting the two facilities on NBG.
“With the ambulance, the truck and all the equipment, I feel that it has been a good learning experience for them,” she said.