Fire Ed is a fire safety education program based on a partnership between firefighters, schools and parents.
The overall aim of the Fire Ed Program is to reduce the frequency and severity of the tragedy and trauma caused by fires that can have lasting effects on young children.
Fire Ed aims to provide a clearly defined program structure with supporting resources to make Fire Safety education in primary schools both effective for student learning and easy to deliver for firefighters and teachers.
The importance of educating and protecting children from the dangers and trauma that can be caused by fire, especially fires in and around the home, is widely recognised. Accordingly, Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) firefighters have been visiting local primary schools and teaching Fire Safety to children through the Fire Ed program for many years. The activities are designed to complement the school's existing PDHPE program for Stage 1 students.
Children are a key at-risk group because of their young age and inexperience in relation to the dangers of fire. Hence the target audience for Fire Ed is Kindergarten and Year 1 primary school students throughout NSW. As part of its prevention work, FRNSW offers annual Fire Ed presentations to all schools which fall within our Fire Districts. In 2006/2007, the FRNSW delivered more than 1,100 Fire Ed presentations across the State.
Fire Fighter's role
It is important to recognise the key role firefighters play in providing this valuable community service to their local primary school students. This is especially important given the high level of trust firefighters generally enjoy from students, teachers, parents and the broader community. While it is generally accepted that much of the information within the Fire Ed program could be delivered by teachers alone, it has been argued by some teachers that this high level of firefighter trust is perhaps one of the key success factors of firefighter-delivered school Fire Safety programs. These teachers suggest that as firefighters are highly trusted community figures, students tend to listen, believe and follow what is presented - leaving lasting, positive impressions.
FireEd Level 1 Program Includes:
- Firefighters contacting local primary school principals and teachers, informing them of the FRNSW Fire Ed program and requesting approval to deliver the program within their school;
- Firefighters visiting schools and presenting the Fire Ed program to students;
- Students, teachers and parents carrying out selected Fire Safety activities after the firefighter presentation, and
- Teachers and parents providing feedback to FRNSW on the level of success of the program with respect to student learning and Fire Ed in general.
In recent years, there has been a series of house fires where children applied fire safety messages that they learnt and saved themselves, their friends and family.
Fire Ed is based on a successful program developed and implemented in Melbourne by the Metropolitan Fire Brigades. In NSW, Fire Ed encourages a local partnership amongst firefighters, teachers, students and parents to work to actively reduce the incidence and impact of fire and related traumas across NSW.