Not only the forest can burn after great heat and drought. There are also numerous “flammable situations” in everyday life. Anyone who knows how best to act cautiously and save the situation in an emergency, or better yet, to take care not to let it arise in the first place, has a distinct advantage. With the musical performance “Marco and the fire”, the tour of the Schwetzingen Opera House informed pupils of the elementary school in Kirrweiler about fire protection.
Headteacher Petra Mathäß praises students from first to fourth grade for their attention. The mixture of singing, acting, personal contact and participation is well received by the children. “I call 112, tell who, what, how and where, it’s the fire department,” the actors rap, summarizing what needs to be done in an emergency before “extinguish, save, recover, protect” becomes possible.
Actor trio in focus
The three friends Lucie (Valerie Wilhelm), Marco (Alishia Funken) and Philipp (Immanuel Mich) show how quickly situations can get out of control. Their motto is “one for all, all for one”. Philipp in particular is a daredevil who likes to experiment and fire things up, while Lucie is the cautious one and Marco the follower who often follows Philipp’s ideas behind Lucie’s back. That fire is attractive is confirmed by the primary school children, who loudly call out to the actors in their diverse roles as children, adults and good and bad dream characters Angelina and Jack, just to “secretly” light a match on stage.
Situations that can lead to fire are acted out and sung about. Parents are also challenged and have a responsibility. For example, the food is left on the stove and the iron on the shirt, which sets off a fire alarm and shouts of warning from the young viewers. Children and adults like the teachers or Rolf Metzger, mayor of the community, learn that you never need to pour water into burning oil, but smother the flame in a pot with a lid or a fire blanket. Water works well with burning paper, but should be avoided with electricity. And: A fire must not be left unattended.
The climax of the event approaches when Philipp and Marco decide to risk a campfire alone in the forest at night. “Fire children” from the school classes dance around the fireplace, the “flames” dance in ever-widening circles and beat visually higher. Can Marco and Philipp get this situation back under control? But true to the motto “one for all, all for one”, Lucie and the youth fire brigade in Kirrweiler volunteer fire department Jannik Sturm let in with a powerful “water march”, before the horrified authors quickly show remorse.
Applause for the fire prevention project is stormy. Afterwards, questions can be asked. Numerous fingers of the boys and girls shoot up. The nature of the questions shows that fire safety is regularly taught at the school. Sturm provides answers to questions, for example, about the speed of the squad, which can be on the scene in five to eight minutes. He explains when the fire suffocates and why smoke is poisonous.
After sitting quietly for a long time in the elementary school’s gymnasium, the children run into the school yard, where other firefighters from the Kirrweiler volunteer fire department are already waiting. Driver and machine operator Günter Herdel is surrounded in no time by enthusiastic, curious people who want to get to know the central fire engine and crew vehicle and to have the functions of the tank, hoses, cutting device and lighting explained.
At the exhibition house, which resembles a large doll’s house, military leader Daniel Beck shows the dangerous paths that smoke and fire can take if windows and doors are opened without thinking. He reminds that it is best to make yourself known at a window when you have either called the fire brigade yourself or neighbors have done so. A special highlight for the boys and girls is the target spraying on pylons, from the top of which individual balls must be sprayed, which firefighter Marcel Kuntz retrieves for the next round as quickly and patiently as possible.