Imagine the confusing and scary feelings of a 4 year old waking to a dark room filled with smoke
and a loud shrieking sound. It is difficult to breath and the child's cries for Mommy or Daddy go
unanswered. The room is hot and his eyes and lungs hurt from the toxic air. The child sees
movement in the darkness. A beam of light pierces the darkness highlighting the smoke and
casting strange shadows. The creature is making strange sounds and calling the child's
name but the voice does not sound human.
Fire Fighters are taught to look for children hiding in places like closets, under beds or in bathtubs.
Those children who have
not practiced in home fire drills often do not understand what is happening or what steps they need to do
to save themselves. So, children will do what they most often do when there is trouble, hide.
To make matters worse, a child who has not been exposed to a firefighter in full gear
and breathing from their SCBA may be more frightened of the alien looking and sounding
firefighter, than of the fire and smoke. In some instances children have been known to run
from firefighters attempting rescues.
It is for these reasons, the membership of Station 18 suggests talking to your kids about
fire safety and work with them to prepare and practice an in-home fire escape plan.
Please see the Fire Preparation page for links
out to other sites that will help you talk to your kids. Then contact your local fire station
to ask when you can bring your kids down to meet a firefighter and see first hand the firefighter
getting geared up.