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When most kids think about firefighters they’re thinking about firetrucks, lights, sirens, spraying water and maybe even Dalmatians. Kid’s dress up costumes usually only come with turnouts and hats. Even with Fire Safety Week in schools, some kids still don’t know what the masks are for or what they do.

Can you imagine being a small child, your house just caught on fire and now there are scary people in big gear, with tools and you can’t see their faces?

Those various masks can be pretty intimidating and terrifying to young children. Sometimes kids take to hiding from their rescuers because they don’t know who they are or what they are doing. There is probably always that one kid who is scared during Fire Safety Week when they see a fully geared up firefighter.

05FireTraining9-MFIREFIGHTERS ARE FRIENDS

I can remember when my youngest wasn’t thrilled about seeing daddy with that weird mask on. Up until recently Rescue Randy freaked her out with his full gear.  It can be scary and maybe even terrifying to kids who don’t understand what the masks are for. When children think of firefighters they rarely think of the vision above.  I’m sure most involve firetrucks and water, not some big monster from outer space!

While preparing your children for the {ESCAPE ROUTE}, make sure they they know that they shouldn’t hide or run away from firefighters if they don’t get out before firetrucks show up. One way to to help prevent children from being afraid of firefighters in full gear is to familiarize them with the various parts of gear, including the mask, and putting a purpose with each item.  This way they know that these things are for the firefighter’s safety and helps them help others. Firefighters are friends!

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The more they know about community helpers, the less afraid they will be.

Be sure that you are explaining things on their level, have them repeat back to you what they learned and why it’s important not to be afraid of them. Our Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Service friends should be included in who not to be afraid of.

 

 

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Jessie -

A small town girl from Southwest Georgia who happens to value your marriage as much as she does her own. She is married to a firefighter who was a volunteer for several years, then transitioned into a career fireman the same month they married in 2008, and he is now a Captain at his full-time Department. They have two daughters, have been in the FFW family since 2012 and know marriage takes a lot of work, even when it's in the best seasons.