The 60 children who participated in Reynoldsburg's Safety Town this year learned about much more than the meaning of stop signs and traffic signals and how to safely cross a street.
The three-day course also included instruction on what to do in case of a fire -- "Don't hide, get outside" -- and presentations from a Metro Parks naturalist, representatives from American Electric Power and Central Ohio Poison Control, along with Reynoldsburg police officers and Truro Township firefighters.
There also were lessons about service dogs and rescues.
And there were the T-shirts -- different colors for each of the five groups of participants.
Corralling 60 of the city's youngest residents wasn't the easiest task for volunteers during Safety Town, but separating them into five small groups made lessons a little easier.
Donna Bauman, director of the Reynoldsburg Parks & Recreation Department, said the groups wore different colored T-shirts, which helped identify any stragglers.
"We have two volunteers in charge of each group, and they make sure the kids get to each safety station over the three days," she said.
Children attended Safety Town from 9 to 11 a.m. July 17-19 at a reserved shelter at Blacklick Woods Metro Park. All are either going into kindergarten or first grade this fall, Bauman said.
She said police instructors and firefighters participated in all three days of Safety Town. Officers from the Franklin County Sherriff's Office also were there, letting children operate a siren and loudspeaker in a cruiser.
She said the city has coordinated Safety Town since 2009.
Lt. Tim Perry's group of kids aimed a fire hose and sprayed brush beside the parking lot, after learning such mottos as, "Stop, drop and roll" and "Don't hide, get outside."
"Is it ever OK to play with matches or a lighter?" he asked the kids.
"No!" the children yelled.
"What if you find matches or a lighter at someone else's house?" he asked.
"Don't touch and tell an adult," answered several children at once.
Perry had to remind a few students to look at him and listen, "because this is important," but he said for the most part, the children were engaged.
The lessons included instructions about when to call 911 and what to do when a fire alarm rings.
"We don't want them to be so afraid of the alarm that they hide somewhere in their house," Perry said. "We want them to find an adult and get outside to their meeting place."
Children who attend Safety Town sometimes end up teaching their parents, who may not have established a "meeting place" for an emergency, Perry said.
He said children should learn their home addresses and when to call 911.
Truro Township has a new motto this year: "Our Community -- Our Commitment."
"We are trying to be proactive and participate in more community events," Perry said.
Chris Skidmore, Reynoldburg's recreation superintendent, coordinated Safety Town.
"We had some new presenters, such as the Goldfish Swim School and school safety instructors," he said. "For a lot of these kids, this fall will be the first time they walk into a public school. They were taught to 'see something, say something.'
"We also had a Reynoldsburg school bus driver here, so the kids could learn bus safety," he said.
He said this year's group was memorable.
"I think this was our best years," he said. "This group of kids was really excited to be here to learn."
Community-resource officer Michele Fulton from the Reynoldsburg Division of Police taught children what to do if they find a gun.
"It's really important for even young children to learn about guns, and that they may not be able to tell if a gun is real or fake," she said. "They need to know not to pick it up, because it could fire and hurt themselves or someone else."
She said seat-belt safety and booster-seat information also was stressed, since current laws say students must be 4-feet, 9-inches tall and at least 8 years old before they don't need a booster seat in a vehicle.
Police Chief David Plesich also was on hand to meet the kids at Safety Town.
"We want our young people to know police officers are here to protect and serve them," he said.