El Mirage Fire Pals

Fire pals
The United States has a severe fire problem. Each year, fire causes over 3.5 billion dollars in property loss in residential structures. Eighty four percent of fire deaths occur inside family residences. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,570 civilian deaths, 13,210 civilian injuries, and $7.2 billion in direct property damage per year. On any given day, an average of 4 children die from fire. In 2015 Arizona reported 11 civilian home fire fatalities. From January 2016 to June 2016, 13 civilian home fire fatalities are already reported in Arizona

It is apparent that our children need safety education in areas not limited to fire safety alone. Our injury prevention program, Fire PALS (Prevent Accidents Live Safe) mission is to prevent childhood drowning and other child life-safety tragedies through education and prevention. Teaching kids about fire safety and informing parents about firearm dangers.

Each month the Fire Pal teaches a different fire or life safety lesson.  In the first half of the school year we reach kindergarten through 2nd grade, the second half of the year 3rd through 5th grades.  The goal is to have all children in our local school district to have a Fire Pal throughout their entire elementary school career. Each school will have a Fire Pal assigned. This will give the students a real friend and a true role model. This program will be evaluated at the end of each session and adjusted accordingly.

The lessons are age appropriate and we try to cover as many topics as possible, from Stop, Drop, and Roll and Cooking Safety to Bullying and Pool Safety. El Mirage Fire Department firefighters will visit district schools to teach fire and life safety lessons. Fire PALS classes are scheduled on a rotating or as needed basis. Each grade level will receive four thirty-minute fire and life safety lessons. Lessons that are taught are: firefighter familiarization, matches and lighters are tools not toys, dialing 911, stop-drop-and roll, crawl low under smoke, smoke detectors save lives, home escape planning, consequences of fire setting, bicycle and pedestrian safety. After each class, the student will be sent home with a flyer that will describe the training for that day. Teacher will fill out a survey to provide the Fire Pal with feedback. Fire PALS is implemented as a partnership between schools, teachers, firefighters, parents and community organizations to provide fire and life safety education for all school children.