A little Pie goes a long way!
Ever try to teach 3000 elementary students how to get out of a fire quickly and safely and keep their interest for an hour? The fire prevention team in Atascocita has each year during fire prevention in October. They have been going beyond the call to make the program different and meaningful each year, even extending fire prevention week to an entire month. Using slide shows, skits, smoke machines, props, puppets and teachers to demonstrate the importance of being fire safe, has paid off. There has not been one fire fatality in Atascocita, Texas to date.
This year the team decided to put the knowledge of the kids to the test to see just how much of the information that has been put out in their programs has really stayed with the kids.
Using the children from 3rd through 5th grade at each school, the department had a game show with two teams. On each team was a firefighter with a child from 3rd 4th and 5th grade that was asked questions about fire prevention. If the question was right the team got a point. If the question was wrong, the question's correct answer was explained and the fire fighter from the team was sprayed with silly string. The first team to 5 points won the game and the losing fire fighter was hit in the face with a pie.
For the Kindergarten through 2nd grade, the fire team used puppets to get the basics of fire safety to children across. Having a safety plan and practicing it, calling 9-1-1, two exits and one meeting place, getting out and staying out, staying low in smoke, stop-drop and roll, and not hiding from firemen are just some of the ideas the children were exposed to. In addition firefighters put on their gear and went through the crowd to let the children hear what a breathing firefighter sounds like in SCBA.
A recent NFPA study put kids through the test of fire drills at home and found that most of the children failed to act, even with escape ladders and smoke detectors in the home.
It is with the help of Fire men and women, parents, friends, teachers and students that getting involved can help keep children fire safe and can get them to act. So the next time life hits you in the face with pie, just remember, a little pie can go a long way.