A special ride home from school

A boy sits in the back of a firetruck, while a firefighter stands nearby.
Finn Darcy received a ride home from school on a Mt. Lebanon fire truck from Lt. Kris Siegert.

It’s not every day that a fifth-grader gets a ride home from school in a fire truck.

Finn Darcy, a student at Markham Elementary, and four of his friends got the chance to ride in style on Thursday, all because he reported downed power lines in Mt. Lebanon twice on two different days.

Finn knew to call 911, stay clear of the area, keep others away and wait for police and firefighters to arrive.

“It was a lesson taught by Firefighter Kris. Anytime you see a power line on the ground, you should call 911,” Finn said.

“Firefighter Kris” is how Fire Prevention and Public Education Lt. Kristopher Siegert, of the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department, is known in the community.

A firefighter stands in front of a fire engine with a group of boys looking on.
Mt. Lebanon Fire Department Lt. Kris Siegert provided a ride home to five Markham Elementary School students on Thursday, May 5.

“We teach 400-plus school lessons a year. I’m in classrooms most of the day, every day,” said Siegert.

One of the lessons talks specifically about power lines and downed wires and teaches kids to stay away from them because they can be dangerous.

The classes are taught twice a year in kindergarten through fifth grade and then again in eighth grade.

“It’s very reassuring to know that they are listening and taking these lessons to heart because the whole program is about empowering the children to make good decisions and help themselves and their friends stay safe. It works,” Siegert said.

Siegert arranged to pick up Finn and his friends outside their school and drive them, sirens blaring, to Vernon Drive.

“This is all about, ‘Hey, you did something right. You did what we want you to do and keep it up,’” Siegert pointed out.

This is only the second time Siegert has given a firetruck ride home from school. “It was nice,” Finn said.

Two of his friends described it as amazing and joyous and not something they’re likely to forget.

If you’d like to learn more about fire safety, you can find summaries of all the classes taught in Mt. Lebanon schools in the Kids Section at mtlfd.org.

A fireman stands in front of a firetruck with five boys to his left.
Mt. Lebanon Fire Department Lt. Kris Siegert, left, poses with Markham Elementary fifth graders Cullen Nichols, Finn Darcy, Ben McKeever, Luke Lennick and Luca Vujevich.