SPOKANE, Wash. – Local firefighters are training the community, specifically young children, on fire prevention.
In recent months, two young children lost their lives due to fire-related incidents.
A group of local fourth graders have been learning about fire safety for years, but they recently paid a visit to the “EDITH” trailer to learn more. EDITH stands for “Exit drills in the home.”
EDITH makes the rounds to schools in the Inland Northwest and gives kids the chance to experience and respond first-hand to fire risks.
The first stop for students is in the kitchen, where they must identify things that could be fire risks, fix them and practice calling for help.
“We actually have a fake phone in there, they have to call 911 and report a fire and give their address – which is something they can say, but when they’re put on the spot it’s a little harder,” said Captain Megan Hill from Spokane County Fire District 4.
The next stop is the living room. This room has a new slew of potential fire hazards that kids need to identify and rectify. Then they head into the bedroom, which offers the most real and potentially lifesaving lesson.
As kids are listening and chatting with friend, they hear the fire alarm and the room quickly fills with smoke.
“Kids get to feel what it’s like to feel a door that’s hot and decide to go out the window. They bail out the window and go to their meet place,” said Hill.
Dialing 911 or keeping flammable items away from the stove are precautions that children have probably learned before. However, Captain Hill said the lesson sticks if they have actually done it in person.
“They’ve been learning these things all the time, up until fourth grade and then they get to actually practice it. It’s just an amazing tool that they can get a little muscle memory and actually act it out just to give them confidence if it ever happens to them in real life,” said Hill.
After the kids have climbed out of the window, they go to their meeting place, but there is one more lesson in store for them.
Each time a group goes through, one kid is kept behind. The other children must notice that their whole group did not make it out and the instruct firefighters to go in and help.
“You can actually see how you can do it, because it’s kind of hard to imagine it. Because sometimes you have different scenarios, so you can imagine different ones,” said fourth grader Elizabeth Meyers.