Public Education Programs
The main objective of the public education program is to bring the message of fire safety to every citizen. Although the major emphasis of the public education program of the Flossmoor Volunteer Fire Department is the school age children, presentations are made throughout the year to all types of social and fraternal organizations. Whenever requested, a member of the Fire Department will conduct a presentation on any number of fire safety topics.
School Safety Program
The school safety program usually centers on Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 5th through October 11th. The theme of the school safety program during 2001 was "Home Hazards," things found in or around the home that can start a fire or burn you. As always, the "star" of the show was "Flashy the fire dog," the department's fire safety education robot purchased by the volunteers.
We conveyed our fire safety message to the school children through Flashy, lecture, and video presentation. The children learned:
- 911 familiarization
- About fire hazards found in the home
- Burn prevention
- Crawl low and go
- Firefighter familiarization
- Safety tips that help prevent personal injuries
- Things that they can do to if they should ever encounter a fire in their home
The purpose of the firefighter familiarization program is to demonstrate to each kindergarten child what a firefighter looks like when the firefighter is dressed in his protective clothing. This is extremely important since it has been shown that many times children that are trapped in smoke are afraid of the firefighters who are coming to help them.
Stop-drop-roll is a program designed to teach children what to do if their clothes catch fire. They are taught to not run but to drop to the ground and roll over and over until the flames are extinguished.
Crawl Low & Go
Crawl low and go is a program designed to teach children that whenever they are caught in smoke they should drop to their hands and knees and crawl under the smoke to safety.
These techniques are now reinforced during presentations with the new fire safety trailer that Flossmoor and Hazel Crest Fire Department purchased jointly. In 2001, over 500 children and adults received this valuable fire safety education. This is a prime example of how tax dollars are being used productively for the benefit of all within the community.
Focus on Children
We concentrate on educating the children of the community for several reasons.
- Children are receptive to learning new concepts, ideas, and practices, whereas adults are sometimes set in their ways.
- Children will bring fire safety information home and apply it to their family's day-to-day routine. By doing so, we hope that the adults of the family will be motivated to begin practicing fire safety as well.
- We can educate children in large numbers in a controlled learning environment (schools). This allows us to present the fire safety message to a maximum number of people in each session with available resources.
In 2006 we received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security for the purchase of a Hazard House and fire safety materials. With this we will be providing Risk Watch material to residents with the assistance of the police department, local doctors and medical facilities, and the schools. You can view our new hazard house online. The new hazard house has been a big hit with the kids in the schools during Fire Prevention Week in October of 2006.