Murray linked in with Wortz’s classroom to talk about fire safety and show them equipment firefighters use. He walked them through the fire station pointing out the different types of vehicles in the department and all the equipment carried on board for various situations.
Wortz modeled a set of firefighter turnout gear to show students the protective clothing firefighters wear and to remind them not to be scared of firefighters even though they might look a little different with all their equipment.
Students asked a variety of questions for the fire chief including: “Do you have a fire dog?” “What truck do you drive?” “Did you ever save a horse?” Murray told them he never knows for sure what to expect when a call comes in for help.
He reminded students to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing catches on fire, to get out of the house as fast as possible if there is ever a fire, and to always call 9-1-1 for help. He even gave students a homework assignment.
“Go home tonight or this weekend and have a fire drill at home,” he said. “Get outside as fast as you can and go to your special meeting place.”
Wortz told her students her family is supposed to meet by their mailbox – a safe distance from the home. She encouraged students to talk with their families to set their own safe meeting place.
In addition to the plastic firefighter hats for all the students, Murray and his department provided stickers and coloring books for the students. The class also made their own fire trucks out of egg cartons and a ladder for the truck out of craft sticks.
In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association named the second week of October as Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, October is observed as Fire Awareness Month to raise fire safety awareness.