New Bedford Brings Fun and Interactive Approach to Fire Safety
I'll bet if I said, "stop, drop and..." you'd be able to finish the sentence with "roll."
Those words were hammered into our heads as children as part of fire safety. Think about how long it has been since a firefighter taught you those words. Chances are you were school-aged, yet the words are seared in your memory.
This is why fire safety demonstrations continue to be such an important part of what fire departments do.
Thanks to some funding from the Department of Fire Services, the New Bedford Fire Department bought an inflatable house meant to pique the interest of young kids. Even though the inflatable looks like a bouncy house on the outside, it has hard flooring throughout so kids can pay attention to the fire safety lessons that take place inside.
The inflatable house is part of the New Bedford Fire Department's S.A.F.E.R. program, which schedules visits to schools and senior centers in the city. The program is run by New Bedford firefighter Anthony Poente, who thought the inflatable house would be a fun and interactive way to educate local students.
"The next step is to get a fog machine so that the kids can really get an idea of what their home might look like during an actual fire," Poente said.
Poente hopes a local store might donate the fog machine, but if that doesn't happen he plans on buying one from a Halloween store in the fall.
The very first students to get a chance to check out the new inflatable house were the boys and girls from Saint Teresa of Calcutta School, who visited the public safety building on Brock Avenue.
The children are split into three groups. The first gets the chance to squirt actual fire hoses at cones, the second can climb into the fire trucks and the third tours the inflatable house.
The hope is that the children will bring what they learn back home to keep fire safety top of mind.
Remember, check the batteries in your fire detectors regularly, designate an emergency meeting place, and stay low and go to avoid smoke.