Knowing about firefighters and their equipment can help reduce children's fear of the unknown and help them understand how to act and what to expect if there is a fire. The fire department often goes to schools and visits with the kids about fire safety and fire prevention. Fire prevention divisions have personnel specifically trained and designated to deliver safety and prevention messages to audiences of all ages and sizes.
Some of the most fun presentations are to the little kids in Pre-K and kindergarten. They love firefighters and fire trucks and all of the really big tools that we carry on the fire engine. However, they are sometimes overwhelmed by the size and scariness of the firefighters in all of their firefighting gear. To help them understand that the "big scary guy" is really just a firefighter in his turnout gear we start by introducing them to the firefighter in his regular station uniform. As the Fire Prevention Specialist talks to the kids, the firefighter starts putting on all of the turnout gear. They watch him step into his boots and pull his pants and suspenders up. They watch him put on the hood that will protect his head and neck. They watch him put on his coat and breathing apparatus. And they watch him put on his helmet.
When the firefighter is all dressed, the kids are able to see what he will look like if he needs to come to their home to rescue them from a fire. This can be a scary sight to a small child who is already scared and they might try to hide. The kids also get to hear the sound of the firefighter breathing with his breathing apparatus. If seeing the firefighter doesn't scare the child often the Darth Vader breathing and muffled voice coming from inside of the mask does.
After the kids see the firefighter in all of his firefighting gear they get to see him take it all back off one piece at a time. When the firefighter is back to just his station uniform they get to go outside and look at the fire engine and all of the tools.
I don't know why anyone wouldn't love fire engines and all of the cool tools we get to use!
This is the greatest career on the planet!!!
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