As firefighters, children look up to us. We are the hometown heroes that are able to save lives during a crisis. Whether it be a fire, medical, or rescue call, we are the people these children look up to. October is Fire Prevention Month. We have an entire month, dedicated to give something back to the local children and teach them ways they could help us. If we make them feel like Jr. firefighters, even just for one day, they will make a big impact on our job.
All too often, we hear of victims entrapped in structural fires. Much more, too often, they succumb to their injuries. Smoke inhalation and toxic gases are the number one cause of death in fire victims during 2010. As firefighters, we have a mission to reach out to these little people, and educate them on their part during these emergencies. Believe it or not, I have seen first hand what fire prevention classes could do to our children. They are little sponges, and retain a lot more information than adults do. Especially if a lesson is delivered in such a way that makes it fun for them.
This year alone, I have seen many repeat faces in my local jurisdiction that are very knowledgeable, in exit strategies, smoke detectors, and fire drills within the home. These children are not just taking away pamphlets and pencils with your department name stamped on it. They are taking away life saving strategies that we hope they will never have to use. But are we always as “all-in” in our teaching efforts as we are if it were our own children? Do we sometimes skimp on the small things, and try move onto our next daily task? Hopefully not. We need to stand in front of these children as the professionals we are. They look up to us. Do it for them. Without them, our job would be a lot harder. Treat them as if they were your own children. They ARE your own children. They are the children in your community, and they are the next generation. They are the future doctors, politicians, firefighters, and teachers of our society. Treat them that way. Let’s make sure they make it to that point. Show them you care, and send them home with the skills they need to survive in a fire situation. Do it for them, do it for yourself, and do it for your community. Nobody looks up to you more than they do.
– The “Irons”