MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The Memphis Fire Department is focusing on educating youth on how to stay safe during a fire for this year’s Fire Prevention Week.
To kick off the week, Memphis Fire paid a visit Monday to Robert R. Church Elementary in Whitehaven. At the school, they taught children as young as Pre-K what to do in the event of a fire.
This year’s theme is “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.”
“Just like they do the fire drills here at school, we want them to know how to get out at home. Know two ways out of every room, door or a window, and know the sound of a smoke alarm – beep, beep, beep – know that sound that means get up and get out,” MFD Fire Education Specialist Kimberly Strong said.
Lt. Wayne Cooke said there’s been an estimated seven deaths in fires this year and all were adults. Despite those numbers, Lt. Cooke said progress is being made.
“This is why our education, public education, is crucial. Why we’re in the schools,” Lt. Cooke said. “We have had child heroes where they have saved their entire family by waking them up, knowing what to look for.”
While “stop, drop and roll” is always a focal point in fire safety education, Strong said one of the issues they’re trying to overcome with children is teaching them to not hide during a fire and to not be afraid of firefighters.
“In that costume is a real person so remember, the firefighters are your friends. Never hide. Go outside. Stay alive,” Strong said.
Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Office of Emergency Management are assisting MFD during the Fire Prevention Week events.
They’ll also go to Berclair Elementary on Wednesday. On Friday, the department is partnering with St. Jude for a fire safety event from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.