NWFD School Programs
Northwest Fire District’s Prevention and Safety Educators visit preschools, kindergartens, and second and fourth grade classrooms with lessons designed to teach youngsters the skills they need to react appropriately when faced with a life safety situation.
Lessons offered for different grade levels are as follows:
Crawl Low – Fire Tools/Hot Things – Stop, Drop, Roll
Exit Drills In The Home – Burn Awareness – Transportation Safety
Fire Safety – Home Alone/Internet Safety – Head Injury and Prevention
Northwest Fire Educators visit District preschools to teach them safety information, including what to do when a smoke alarm goes off, or if their clothes catch on fire.
A variety of teaching methods are utilized, including:
- Safety songs
An important part of the preschool education involves children seeing the firefighters in their full turnout gear. In a fire, a young child would likely be terrified by the smoke, heat and sounds. A firefighter crawling through the smoke in turnout gear and breathing through a mask and tank could be a pretty intimidating sight to an uninformed child. We’ve been told by the kids that the firefighters sound like “Darth Vader” when breathing through a tank and mask. As such, we work to help the children understand that although they may look a scary, firefighters are there to help.
The Mini-Muster fire safety program has been delivered to elementary school children throughout the Northwest Fire District for 30 years. It’s designed to incorporate important safety messages that children can understand with fun-filled experiences they will remember for years to come. The program includes information on fire drills to escape a home fire and a reminder that firefighters are there to help even if they may look a little scary in their bulky turn-out gear.
- Designed for 2nd grade students
- Approximately 1,500 students per year
- 15 schools participating
- 30 years of fire safety education
Each Mini-Muster offers several activities for students
See what teachers have to say about the Mini-Muster Program
See what students have to say about the program
Each Mini-Muster offers several activities for students: use a small fire hose, race in a bucket brigade, follow hose lines to safety while blindfolded, and practice home escape skills in an obstacle course that starts with students in mock beds and ends when they reach the predetermined “meeting place.”
You can find details on each event below.
- Students put many of the fire safety lessons they’ve learned to use in this individually-timed event
- Participants start in a mock bed as if they’ve been awakened at night by a smoke detector
- The student must crawl low (beneath the pretend smoke level) to find an exit
- When the participant reaches a door, they use the back of their hand to feel the door to determine if its hot (and it is!)
- Remembering that they shouldn’t ever open a hot door, the participant moves to a second exit option (They’ve been taught to always have two ways out of their house.)
- The participant then climbs out of a window to escape
- The timer is stopped when the student reaches a predetermined “meeting place” to end the exercise
- Offers a historical perspective of an early firefighting method
- Start point is at the “Dip tank”
- Buckets of water are carried and dumped into a trash barrel
- Once water has reached a predetermined mark, the event is finished
- During the event, each participant will likely carry two or three buckets
- Gives the children an idea of the protective clothing firefighters wear and how firefighters put out fires.
- With the help of their teammates, each participant puts on a coat, boots and helmet.
- After walking a short distance in their gear, the junior firefighter squirts the hose and knocks down a traffic cone.
- The participant walks back to their teammates where he or she will receive help in removing their gear.
Follow The Hose
- In this individually-timed event, participants learn that even firefighters stay low in a smoke-filled environment
- Each participant is blind-folded for this exercise (to simulate the lack of visibility in a smoky room)
- The blind-folded students crawl along a hose line which guides them to a doorway out
- The timer is stopped when the student passes through the doorway to end this exercise
- The Safety Trailer allows students to practice a fire escape in an environment with simulated smoke
- In this exercise, each Mini-Muster team tours the safety trailer and is taught what to do in the event of a house fire
- Each team practices crawling low, identifying the best way out of the smoke-filled environment, and safely getting themselves out of the trailer
It is an exciting and engaging experience for our students to learn about the importance of fire safety. It prepares them for real life situations.
We love the Northwest Fire District’s Mini-Muster and our second graders remember it for years. It makes fire safety lessons real to the kids because they’re actually doing an activity, not just talking/listening about it.
Not only does it encourage physical activity and teamwork, but it teaches our children fire safety awareness. How fabulous that our community takes time for our children in such a positive and supportive manner.
This event teaches lifelong lessons about what to do in case of a fire. There is no way I could reproduce such quality lessons or activities in my classroom that the Northwest Fire District provides monthly with Firefighter Marie and every October with the Mini-Muster.
The Mini Muster provides hands on experiences for students to understand the importance of fire safety. We all appreciate the time that the firefighters take to put on this educational event!
Mini-Muster is a memory making experience that kids remember years later! When I asked my 8th grade cadet helper what he remembered most about 2nd grade, she immediately said, Mini-Muster! I learned to stop, drop, and roll, and I actually got to practice that! 6 years later, it made a big impression! We love this event, and feel it’s so worthwhile.
The Mini-Muster is a wonderful event that fosters a positive community relationship between students and firefighters. Students learn important fire safety instruction by participating in hands-on activities. They practice dropping to the ground to crawl under smoke, feeling a door with the back of the hand to see if it is hot, and experiencing how to escape from a smoke filled room. The students learn so much and have a fantastic time!
Estes Elementary loves the annual Mini-Muster! The students love the fact it’s just for second grade. The activity is a perfect combination of outdoor physical fun and learning fire safety skills, an outdoor classroom for the day! Besides fire safety, the students are building a relationship with the important members of our community that keep us safe. As teachers we appreciate the efforts that N.W. Fire Department puts into the education and safety of our students. Their lessons tie directly in with our content standards. Thank you N.W. Fire District!
Letters From Students