MFD’s fire prevention school programs
The Merrill Fire Department (MFD) provides annual fire prevention education in area schools. “Our goal is fire prevention education of pre-school through 5th grade that will continue to protect you and your families,” MFD fire fighters said.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been promoting Fire Prevention Week for over 100 years now (1922-2023). This year’s annual theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.” This theme focuses on simple actions to keep everyone safer while cooking.
The MFD utilizes a progression of education, beginning at the pre-school level showing the students the “Friendly Firefighter” dressed in all of his fire gear, and continuing to educate the same students annually for seven years. Each year, they review what was taught the previous year and add in new fire prevention and safety techniques, such as creating a fire escape plan and “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”
The Fire Pup visits Kindergarten classes to help instill the message and make a memorable impression on young learners, and second graders get a fun video safety lesson from “Red-E-Fox” explaining the use of the 911 system.
Through the years of educating the community’s youth, the MFD also empowers them through homework assignments to bring their safety education into their home, which results in moms, dads, and families creating and practicing fire escape plans, checking smoke detectors, and going through fire safety checklists, among several other take-home assignments.
MFD’s “Fire Prevention Week” usually takes three weeks to complete. “For our 2023 fire prevention education, our 21 shift personnel will personally talk to and educate 1,177 students, not to mention the teachers and school staff enjoy a refresher annually,” said MFD Chief Josh Klug. “Our fire prevention and safety messages will then be taken into many of the homes in our community by our Junior Firefighters (students).”
This annual fire service tradition that has been passed down for over 100 years is one more way the Merrill Fire Department works toward making sure you and your loved ones are safe, Klug said.