Creating opportunities to educate children about fire safety is a priority for the Spokane Valley Fire Department. We teach fire safety to children to help keep families safe and be better prepared for a fire crisis. Fires in the home are the number one killer of children under age 14 in the United States. Most fires occur at night and spread rapidly through the home, leaving as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Partnering with local schools to teach fire safety is a win-win for the schools, students and Spokane Valley Fire Department!
Junior Fire Marshal – 2nd Grade
Every October, SVFD visits all of the elementary schools in our service area specifically speaking to second grade students about becoming Junior Fire Marshals. We teach children that they are big enough for fire safety. Firefighters visit second grade classrooms to show a video and speak with children about fire safety. Students are given a “homework” assignment to talk about home fire safety with their family. Firefighters return to the school the following week to reinforce fire safety messages and reward students who completed their homework with a hands-on tour of a SVFD fire engine. We hope you will support our efforts and encourage your child to practice fire safety skills in your home.
E.D.I.T.H. Fire Safety House – 3rd Grade
Every October, SVFD visits half of all the elementary schools in our service area to give third grade students the opportunity to participate in the Fire Safety House and practice E.D.I.T.H.– Exit Drills In The Home. The Fire Safety House (a small model home on wheels) is a tool used to teach children about hazards they might find in their home. They are educated about kitchen safety, fire safety and participate in a home fire drill with fake smoke. They learn the importance of knowing two ways out of their home, having a family meeting place, and calling 9-1-1. In May, SVFD visits the remaining third graders in the other half of all elementary schools in our service area.
Scientific Method for Juveniles – 7th Grade
With a goal of reducing the number of fires set by adolescents, SVFD delivers a fast-paced, engaging 55-minute program to all 7th grade students in seven middle schools our service area each year. Taught as part of the science curriculum, students learn the seven steps of the scientific method as defined in the “Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigations” (NFPA 921).
Taught by firefighter and former fire investigator Rick Freier and his retired arson dog Mako, the program aims to demonstrate a real world application of the scientific method, educate students about the devastating consequences of playing with fire and demonstrate that science can be exciting and fun. Along with the scientific method, the program also discusses the difference between the three fire cause classifications: incendiary, accidental and natural. Students also hear about related fire safety topics including smoke alarms, pulling a fire alarm for fun, and keeping lighters and matches away from younger siblings.
During the five-year period ending in 2016, the program had been presented to about 5,000 students. As of June 2016, only one student who had participated in the program had been caught setting a fire.
High School CPR – 9th Grade
Since 2013, Spokane Valley Firefighters have been teaching hands-only CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use to students attending four high schools in East Valley and West Valley school districts. Twice a year for two days, firefighters teach CPR as part of the 9th grade Health curriculum. We teach about 800 students per year.
In 2013, the Washington State legislature passed a law requiring every high school graduate to be trained in hands-only CPR and AED use, beginning with the graduating class of 2017. State law makers realized that every year in the U.S., roughly 360,000 people experience cardiac arrests outside a hospital and only 10% survive, because only 1 out of 4 receive bystander CPR before emergency medical crews arrive.
In partnership with our community schools, SVFD implemented a program to ensure this mandated training is delivered to all students before graduation. East Valley and West Valley school districts welcomed the no-cost program and have worked with SVFD to train all freshman students (and others who may have missed the training in previous years) to meet the state mandate. SVFD firefighters deliver a fun, interactive and realistic learning experience for students with a high student to instructor ratio that allows each student to gain firsthand experience performing CPR for longer durations of time and integrating an AED. This program is a win-win for SVFD and our schools as we continue to build capacity and confidence among our young citizens to perform CPR and use an AED in case of emergency.
Spokane Valley Tech – 11th and 12th Grade
A team of off-duty SVFD firefighters teach two programs at Spokane Valley Tech (SVT), a school for high school students to gain technical skills and experience in growing industries with a focus on career and college readiness.
- Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services – this program introduces students to structural and wildland firefighting and the emergency medical system. The program uses state-of-the-art equipment and facilities including an onsite fire engine. The program develops the required teamwork, leadership, mental and physical skills to be successful in the fire service.
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – this program prepares students to test for their Emergency Medical Technician Certification. It is taught by SVFD firefighters in partnership with Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). It is available to high school seniors by application.
Spokane Valley Tech programs serve 11th and 12th grade students from all local school districts. The curriculum is rigorous and students are eligible to earn college credit and/or various professional certifications. For more information call 228-5600.
Read about SVFD Engineer John Nelson and Spokane Valley Tech