Securing the Future: Lubbock Fire Rescue and Lubbock ISD team up - FOX34 Lubbock

Securing the Future: Lubbock Fire Rescue and Lubbock ISD team up for fire safety education

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

According to the National Fire Protection Association, children under the age of five are at the greatest risk of home fire death and injury, at a rate of nearly twice the national average.

In fact, nearly 488 children ages 14 and under die in home fires each year. 

As a result, Lubbock Fire Rescue is making fire safety education a top priority.

"Lubbock Fire Rescue places equal importance on fire safety messages as it does emergency response," Assistant Fire Marshal Alan Martin said. 

Martin said early intervention is key, and the goal each year is to reach 90 percent of kindergarten through second grade students with its fire safety education. 

"It gets them thinking early because the safety we create is like a canvas. We're all going to paint a different life on that canvas and these kids need to know how to start making good decisions now," Martin said.

He said one of the reasons for this is because there are too many kids who do not know the danger of fire, or what to do in an emergency scenario.

"Tragically, we started getting fires towards little kids who were starting fires and it just had a terrible outcome, as young as three. Lighters, matches, things like that they might see their parents using to light a grill. We talk about tools and toys, and that has to start with three year olds, four year olds, five year olds," Martin said.

However, Martin said the department cannot do this alone. 

"We have such a great system, but the challenge is that the growth is also challenging us and helping us realize that in order to be effective with our community risk reduction, we have to have partnerships," Martin said. 

One of those partnerships is with Lubbock ISD.

Joni Rodela, a curriculum coordinator with LISD, said both need each other to maximize the program's success.

"In Lubbock ISD, we've got the educational platform, we've got the classroom platform, but we don't have the fire engines at our disposal. Those partnerships not only get the kids into the experience, but it also gives them the opportunity to put those community face-to-face relationships together," Rodela said.

All in all, Martin added repetitiveness in the classroom is critical to retention.

"Fire safety messaging is like rinse, wash, and repeat. It's repetitive. We say it again in kindergarten, we say it again in first grade, we say it again in second grade. We add some things, we change the verbiage, but we have to start early with the danger of fire," Martin said.

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