Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fire Station Field Trip

I know that fire station field trips sound like something for the preschool set, but I assure you that there's much about fire safety, civics, and STEM-in-action to be learned by even my advanced scholars of the fifth and third grades.

For instance, yes, we covered stop, drop, and roll, and why you shouldn't play with matches and lighters (I shared a quiet look and laugh with another mom during this portion of the presentation, as I'd previously told her how I prepped the kids to give the "correct" answers to the firefighters by explaining to them that the firefighters are much more conservative on this issue than our family is, and it's best not to upset them by telling them that your mommy lets you light matches, yes?), and what a firefighter in full gear looks like and why you shouldn't hide from them, but there was a lot more information suitable for the older kids that they are now.

We got an excellent review of emergency escape plans, a wonderful explanation of the importance practice; the firefighter carefully explained to the children that the smoke and noise of a fire are extremely disorienting, so you won't be able to navigate your home as well as you think you will, and if you're suddenly woken up, the disorientation will be even more severe. The firefighter suggested that we practice our escape plan on hands and knees, as that's how we'd move most safely in a real fire. He also suggested that we practice middle-of-the-night fire drills, because he said that many children simply won't wake up to a smoke alarm, and even more children will simply roll over, bury their heads in their pillows, and fall back asleep.

Everyone loves touring the fire trucks, of course--
Yes, Syd chose to wear her fashion show outfit on this day.

But I was also pleased that we got a look at some vehicle rescue gear, including the jaws of life (the firefighter explained that the jaws of life work using hydraulic power, and on the way home we had an excellent discussion of hydraulic and pneumatic power, and our vacation to Disney World!) and this wonderful airborne ladder:

This field trip inspired us to get our emergency evacuation plan for this new house down pat (thank goodness for our bizarre FIVE doors to the outside, our bizarre crank windows that won't have to be broken to be turned into escape routes, and a certain drive-in movie sign that makes a fabulous meet-up point), and fits right in with both levels of the Girl Scout First Aid badge, for which we're undertaking a study of medical and emergency personnel of all sorts.

I also think this trip has inspired our culinary efforts, as these firefighters are definitely getting a big basket of muffins hand-delivered after the kids return from their California vacation!


Tina said...

I have thought many times that I would love to get Emma in on a field trip to the fire house here. I might have to actually plan a trip.

Loved seeing Syd wear her fashion show shirt, I recognized it even before I saw your write up.

Hope the girls have a blast in CA!

julie said...

You totally should! I've also had it in the back of my mind forever to plan a field trip to the post office--my class went there in fifth grade, while I was busy having a tonsilectomy, of COURSE.


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