Bushfire safety in schools

Published: 4 Oct 2016

Released by: The Premier

Primary school children will be better prepared for bushfire emergencies following the launch of a new NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) program to be presented by volunteers, Premier Mike Baird announced today.

Mr Baird, Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons visited Warrimoo Public School to see volunteers teaching the program to students for the first time.

“Unfortunately we are all familiar with the devastation a bushfire can cause and it’s important that communities have a plan and know exactly what they will do,” Mr Baird said.

Many RFS brigades are already working with their local school community, so the NSW RFS Guide to Working with School Communities program will support those relationships with a structured learning plan aligned with the curriculum, and encourage other schools to introduce the lessons into the classroom.

By having a comprehensive educational bushfire safety program across primary schools, more communities will gain an understanding of their bushfire risk and know what they have to do to be prepared.

As part of the three-step program, students will learn the information and its context within their own lives; they practice the skill in scenario-based exercises; and finally share their new knowledge with family and friends.

“The NSW Rural Fire Service isn’t just about being on the firefront with a truck and hose,” Mr Elliott said. “By actively engaging with primary school students, and delivering sound bushfire education packages, our volunteers are helping children understand the risk and know what to do in the event of an emergency.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons encouraged RFS members to familiarise themselves with the resource and work with brigades and district offices to deliver the program locally.

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