In one Georgia community, fire prevention messages have jumped out of the box — literally.
Milledgeville Fire Rescue personnel understand the importance of kids learning life-saving lessons.
That’s why they got together and created a fun, active video — “Don’t wait / Pre-plan your escape” at fire headquarters in between calls.
“When you’re 5, 6, 7 years old, you don’t want to sit around and listen to a lecture,” Milledgeville Fire Rescue Sgt. Frank Manson told reporters. “Kids like to be active — up, jumping around. We felt like we could spread the message better via music versus sitting around watching some boring instructional video about stopping, dropping, and rolling or crawling under smoke.”
Don’t worry — all those familiar fire safety tips are included.
“If you see some smoke / then you should get low,” goes one line from Lt. Jalyn Lawrence followed not long after by, “If fire gets on your clothes / you should drop and roll.
Crews used their own equipment and used dancing and lyrics to get their message out.
“We’ve got some amazing firefighters with a lot of talent,” said Battalion Chief David Ussery.
There’s some common sense injected too, as Lawrence shows how to snuff out a stovetop fire by simply placing a lid over a pot. Sgt. Knight tells families to, “Clean your stairs / keep trash out the way” in order to make escapes less hazardous. And of course, there’s the hook, which is sung by firefighter and former Baldwin High School girls basketball standout Courtney Butts. “Don’t wait / Pre-plan your escape,” is sure to get stuck in the heads of school-aged children after they watch the video.
“There’s no telling who all it can reach,” Fire Rescue Capt. Eddie Braswell said. “It can go anywhere beyond Milledgeville. It could save lives up North or out West.”
“Our goal is to teach [kids] that yes, fire is scary, but if you have a plan, you can face that fear because you know where you’re going and you have a place outside to meet,” Ussery said.
While this is National Fire Prevention Week, Milledgeville Fire Rescue usually spreads it out over the full month of October. That strategy works especially well since the public school system is on fall break this week.