A lesson to learn

Published 3:43 pm Thursday, October 27, 2016

October is National Fire Prevention Month, which also includes National Fire Prevention Week. During the month, there are numerous activities and events spread the message of fire prevention and fire safety.

In Washington, one of those events involves children. By educating children about fire safety, fire officials want the children to take home what they learn about fire prevention and fire safety. As part of that educational process, the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS Department conducts an annual contest in which students at John Small Elementary School participate in the Great Escape Plan Challenge’s program known as EDITH — Exit Drills in the Home.

Students are asked to draw floor plans of their homes. The drawings must show all rooms, hallways, windows, door and exits. They also had to show locations of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. The drawings also must show an outside meeting place for family members to use in case of a fire. The four winning students are treated to a pizza luncheon at fire station No. 1. Domino’s provides pizza, and Coca-Cola provides Coke products.

“Obviously, you guys did some great plans because that’s why you are here today to be recognized for that. Those things you learn as a young child will help keep you safe and your family safe,” Robbie Rose, chief of the department, told the four winning students in 2010.

Fire officials believe the annual event helps raise awareness of fire prevention and fire safety, which helps save lives.

At the 2010 pizza luncheon, then-Division Chief Jasper Hardison said, “One of the most important things when we go to a fire is to know if people are in the house or not in the house. It’s two different separate ways that we fight fires. If we’ve got people in the house, we’ve got to do a rescue. If we don’t have to worry about a rescue, we can go more into firefighting.

Educating children is a good thing, but when that education helps save lives, that’s a great thing.