The Fort Wayne Fire Department Safety Education Division consists of three full time firefighters who handle the scheduling and presentation of the public fire and life safety programs for all the residents of the city of Fort Wayne. Services offered range from basic fire and life safety displays, general public fire safety presentations, fire safety and hands-on fire extinguisher training for businesses, middle and high school safety/career programs, to in-depth structured safety programs in the elementary schools. This commitment by the Fort Wayne Fire Department to “save lives and preserve property” through education and prevention has resulted in an overall low fire death and property loss rate for a city of our size.
Our two major programs, Learn Not To Burn and the Survive Alive House, are predominately structured for a juvenile audience as this is the best population group to easily teach in large numbers and they also tend to be the most receptive group to our message. The adult population is not overlooked during these two programs however as many sessions have a number of adults (teachers, parents, etc.) in attendance.
Our division offers the burn prevention program “To Hell and Back” to all the city high schools. “To Hell and Back” is an intense hard hitting program that explicitly demonstrates the reality of burn injuries and their effects on not only the victims but also their families. Sparky’s Hazard House is used for special presentations to various groups to help participants find and correct safety hazards in the home. Fire and life safety programs targeted specifically for the immigrant communities and senior citizens are offered whenever requested. The immigrant population, specifically Burmese, is continually growing and we continue to offer programs specifically tailored for this growing segment of our community. Many times we have partnered with other community organizations such as Allen County Safe Kids, TRIAD, American Red Cross, Focus on Health (student and adult programs), etc. to more efficiently serve the community. Along with the above programs, our division honors as many requests as possible for fire and life safety presentations to adult organizations, career talks with middle and high school students, and any other children’s group not part of our regular Learn Not To Burn and Survive Alive programs. In 2011 approximately 3,616 citizens participated in these various life safety programs.
The Public Education Division takes part in numerous special events as well. The majority of these events took place after normal business hours and although most were not structured presentations, a substantial amount of fire safety information i.e. brochures, pamphlets, coloring books, etc. were distributed. These were excellent opportunities for questions and answers from the public regarding fire and life safety issues. An immeasurable amount of good public relations was accomplished at all these events also. In 2011 we interacted with approximately 16,550 citizens during these special events.