POPS Place fire prevention and fishing program photo

Students in the Plattsmouth Education Foundation POPS Place program smile with fishing rods and water bottles during a recent fishing trip this summer. Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department member Bob Heckman taught children fire prevention and safety concepts during their fishing experience.

PLATTSMOUTH – Plattsmouth students recently reeled in plenty of fire prevention and safety knowledge during a fishing trip with local teachers and firefighters.

Students in the Plattsmouth Education Foundation POPS Place program were able to spend time fishing as part of a summer activity. They spent the day learning how to properly hold fishing poles, cast lines and move their fishing rods in the water to catch animals.

Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department member Bob Heckman also gave the children advice about fire prevention and safety topics during their trip. Heckman said the elementary and middle school students soaked in a large amount of information from the presentation.

“It was a fun time,” Heckman said. “These kids had so much energy and were very interested in what was going on. I really enjoyed being out there with them.”

Heckman’s presentation focused on many tips children should remember in case of fires or other emergencies. He told them they should memorize both 911 and a phone number of a family member to call during an emergency, and they should immediately leave a building if they smelled smoke or saw flames. He also told them it was important to set a meeting place ahead of time in case their family or friends needed to escape a house or building too due to fires.

Heckman said he was impressed with the courteous and thoughtful nature of the students.

“They were very good about listening to the information,” Heckman said. “They did a great job focusing on all of the advice. I was very pleased with how they handled themselves.”

Heckman said he enjoys working with children at events such as the POPS Place fishing trip. He said he is grateful for the opportunity to teach them skills that can help them in many situations.

“Seeing a smile on a child’s face when they understand a concept is one of the best experiences,” Heckman said. “That’s a memory that will last a lifetime.”

Heckman has spent the past 12 years with the Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department. He has worked for fire departments for more than 40 years and teaches fire prevention classes in both Nebraska and Iowa.

Plattsmouth Education Foundation members sponsor the POPS Place program for local students each year. The state-licensed childcare center holds activities for K-6 students both before and after school. Students also have opportunities to take part in summertime activities.

The POPS Place program is headquartered in Plattsmouth Elementary School and has operated since 1997. Leaders provide students with academic programs, enrichment activities and recreational opportunities during the year.

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