Connecting During COVID

SFD Launches Virtual Fire Safety Program for Preschools and Families

Jamie McIntyre, Community Risk Reduction Manager, 509-435-7058

Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:34 a.m.

Visits to area preschools to talk about fire safety are a normal practice for Spokane Fire Department. With COVID precautions in place, for the safety of our personnel and community, these visits have been on hold. And the need still exists. Educators from preschools around the city continually reached out to Spokane Fire asking for a way to connect. Spokane Fire Department Chief Brian Schaeffer acknowledged a need to think outside the box and find a way to continue to share these vital fire safety messages with preschoolers and their families.

“Connecting with preschoolers is more than big trucks and sticker badges, it is a chance for young children to engage one on one with firefighters, learn about their gear and recognize firefighters as community helpers and their friends” stated Chief Schaeffer. “Normalizing the tools, lights, and sounds associated with an emergency incident helps kids to feel safe with first responders, should the need arise in an emergency situation” Schaeffer continued.

Spokane Fire Department worked with City of Spokane Web Designer, Thuy Truong, to create the Spokane Fire Department Preschool Fire Safety Classroom. The content is for children who are developmentally between the ages of 3-6 years old. The webpage offers a self-guided tour through educational messaging from the National Fire Protection Association including:

  • an overview of smoke alarms and what to do when they beep,
  • the clothes firefighters wear,
  • rules for firestarting tools,
  • and a tour of a Spokane Fire Department fire engine.

Children, educators, and their families are greeted with special messages from Chief Brian and Mrs. Jamie, Spokane Fire Department’s Community Risk Reduction Manager. Spokane Fire seeks to measure the impact and effectiveness of this model. After going through the content, adults are encouraged to help kids share what they learned with Spokane Fire via an optional survey.

“For many children, this is their first encounter with firefighters and an introduction to fire safety” stated Chief Schaeffer. “Through our Community Risk Reduction office we have structured fire safety programming that reaches people at different developmental stages. The preschool fire safety program is an important building block for additional fire safety messaging delivered throughout a lifetime” Schaeffer continued.

To Learn more visit: SFD Virtual Preschool Fire Safety Classroom (