MIDWEST CITY -- The Midwest City Fire Department spends a lot of resources each year on public education, especially with school aged children. As a way to celebrate National Fire Prevention Month, fire officials have chosen to once again take their fire safety and education program on the road.
Previously, the department organized a program each October where the districts grade school children could travel to the station and go through many types of fire safety drills and procedures. With cutbacks in school field trip funding, there has been a reduction in the number of schools who could participate.
Beginning last year, fire department officials decided to take their program on the road and go to every grade school in Midwest City.
“We think it is very important to continue educating our school children in the areas of fire safety and prevention each year,” Fire Marshal Tim Synder said. "We view the time we spend with the students to not only be our responsibility, but, necessary in helping to reduce the number of fire related deaths and injuries among children."
This year, the program will reach approximately 4,000 students in Kindergarten through second grade in 13 public and private schools. Three events are setup in the school parking lot for participation from each class.
First, each class takes a turn in the education trailer, which creates “smoke” and causes the students to reenact exiting a house that is on fire.
Next, the class gets a tour of a fire truck.
Then, the tour concludes with the students squirting water through a fire hose. The Fire Department gives each student a form to take home for the purpose of talking to their parents about a home exit route, in the event of a fire.
They are asked to bring them back to school where they are entered into a contest where one student per grade receives the opportunity a have a fire truck pick them up at their home and drive them to school.
“This is so exciting for the students and the school and a great reward for them having completed an exit route with their family,” Snyder said.
In addition to the safety and education program, the fire department offers many other programs available for students and the public.
Each year, the department holds monthly CPR training; conducts Learn Not to Burn safety awareness classes for students; conducts cooking and home safety -- a middle and high school program, and many more. The department will assist the public with installation of car seats.
For a complete listing of available programs, please go to www.midwestcityok.org/fire-department-public-education or call 739.1356.