Hazelwood students rewarded with unique ride to school

HAZELWOOD, MO. - For most kids at McNair Elementary School, it was just another typical morning; many were dropped off by bus or by parents. However, that wasn’t the case for two fifth graders. They made quite the entrance Monday morning at school.

Hazelwood firefighters picked up Chantrel Clayton and Kenedee Rainbolt at each of their homes in a fire truck.

"We got in and we drove around the neighborhood a little bit," Rainbolt said.

"They had these headsets that we could put on and we could talk to each other," said Clayton.

When the girls arrived, their classmates welcomed them. Then, they tried on some gear.

"This was a great opportunity," Clayton said.

They got the opportunity by winning a competition at school. They both wrote strong essays about fire prevention.

"I wrote about how you always need to make sure your smoke alarms have up-to-date batteries," Rainbolt said. “Also, you want to make sure there aren't too many outlets plugged into the wall."

"Never play with smoke or fire," Clayton said.

They're important lessons firefighters want all kids to know.

"Once we teach them, they can pass that information along if they go to their grandma's house or a friend's house, they have a plan in place in case there is a fire," Capt. Dale Kelle said.

The girls say they won't forget what they learned, and they encourage their peers to try to win the competition, too, when it's offered again next year.

"I learned that it's always good to go past the limits and to push yourself harder," Rainbolt said.

"Take a risk,” Clayton said.


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