How many times have you already heard the phrase “it’s that time of year again……time for school to start”. Well it is here at the fire department also. This is the time of year that we begin our elementary education program. This program has been very successful with positive feedback coming from students, teachers, administrators and parents. The intent of this program is to work in conjunction with the teachers in providing education not just about fire prevention but educating kids and families about fire and life safety, weather and how their local fire department operates just to name a few. Students get an opportunity to get to know people who work in their community, also see the equipment and facilities that their fire department has.
Each shift (A, B, or C) is assigned 2-3 classes to work with. We go into the classroom or provide activities once a month through the entire school year. We spend around 45 min. to an hour talking and interacting with the kids. Each of the shifts has their own lessons and agendas but the topics are standard throughout the year. The year usually starts out with an introduction of the shift members and the students. We then talk about what our daily routine typically looks like at the fire station and the students are given a tour of the fire engine and the ambulance. We also talk about our backgrounds and fire service experience or how we became interested in this job. Throughout the year we learn about:
Home escape plans
Home fire safety
First aid and EMS
Calling for help with the 911 simulator
Fire safety trailer
We end the year with a special day called “4th Grade Fire Academy”. During the academy day the classes walk to the fire station. When they arrive they receive a tour, eat lunch and they participate in events that firefighters may have to face but with a little fun mixed in of course. The “cadets” will crawl through a darkened room, drag a simulated victim, check out the apparatus for service, watch a training video, use a hose line and learn how to roll hose up after a fire. Additionally we may have alternative activities to replace or supplement the different topics discussed through the year. We have had meteorologists from both Fox 4 and Channel 41 come in to speak. We also have had LifeFlight Eagle and Staff for Life medical transport helicopters fly in for tours with the students.
The 4th grade elementary education program has been a highlight for Sni Valley's Fire Prevention Program. We have been able to educate on the importance of recognizing surroundings, knowing your address, and being able to help get their families out of the house safe in case of fire or emergency. I know I have enjoyed seeing the students, working with the teachers and look forward to another successful 5 years and beyond. Have a great school year!