Fire & Rescue NSW and schools
The importance of educating and protecting children from the dangers and trauma that can be caused by fire, especially fires in and around the home, is widely recognised. Accordingly, Fire & Rescue NSW firefighters have been visiting local preschools, primary schools and high schools and teaching fire safety to children and youth through a variety of programs for many years.
Fire & Rescue NSW encourages a local partnership among firefighters, teachers, students and parents to work to actively reduce the incidence and impact of fire and related traumas across NSW.
It is important to recognise the key role firefighters play in providing this valuable community service to their local students. This is especially important given the high level of trust firefighters generally enjoy from students, teachers, parents and the broader community.
Whilst it is generally accepted that much of the information within the programs could be delivered by teachers alone, it has been argued by some teachers that this high level of firefighter trust is perhaps one of the key success factors of firefighter-delivered school fire safety programs. These teachers suggest that as firefighters are highly-trusted community figures, students tend to listen, believe and follow what is presented - leaving lasting, positive impressions.
Fire & Rescue NSW develops its programs in consultation with a variety of agencies:
- NSW Department of Education and Training
- Catholic Education Commission (NSW)
- Association of Independent Schools
- NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA)
- NSW Ambulance
- NSW Police
- the NSW Rural Fire Service
- in addition to evaluating and sharing resources with other states' emergency services.
Where possible Fire & Rescue NSW ensures that the programs are developed to enhance education and learning components of the school syllabus.