Fire Safety Celebrated Throughout District

Kendra Walden, Financial Advisor

Fire Safety in GarlandThe health and safety of students is always a top priority in Garland ISD. To reiterate this focus, the district commemorated National Fire Prevention Week with special activities, awards and guests Oct. 7-10.

“Fire Prevention Week is a time to begin the dialogue of educating our students on how to be prepared should they be faced with a fire or emergency,” said Heather Glen Elementary School Assistant Principal Marc Garcia. “This year, Heather Glen students were able to practice the ‘stop, drop and roll’ and belly crawl techniques, learn tips through Sparky the Dog books and videos, and hear first-hand the importance of fire safety.”

The campus, along with several other district schools, received a visit from the Garland Fire Department. Firefighters held 30-minute discussions with students, giving them an overview of their professions and providing emergency tips. Students heard about 911 proceedings, kitchen safety and evacuation methods. Students also learned about a firefighter’s gear, tools and fire engine.

“I think this is the absolute most important part of our job, communicating to the children that we are here for them 24/7 and helping them understand that they can play a role in safety at home,” said Garland Fire Department Captain Kenneth Craft. “I really look forward to this every year.”

Special importance was given to smoke detectors this year, as the week’s national theme was “Smoke Alarms Save Lives.”

“Smoke alarms are the simplest, most effective way to save lives in the event of a fire. They really work,” Craft said. “We have seen the numbers of fire fatalities reduced due to smoke detectors. We have to constantly remind everybody–children and adults alike–about the importance of fire alarms because it is so easy to forget about them.”

A recent facilities assessment identified fire alarm systems in nearly half of GISD’s schools that will surpass their useful lifespan within the next five years, as well as 22 buildings without fire sprinklers because they were not standard at the time of construction. The 2014 GISD bond referendum currently includes fire alarm system replacements and fire sprinkler additions.

“As important as fire safety is, we tend to overlook it until there is an emergency,” said Walnut Glen Academy Assistant Principal Brian Trichell. “We wanted to proactively bring awareness to fire safety, while at the same time build a relationship with our local fire department.”

In addition to enlightening students and building community relationships, 12 campuses were awarded a Garland Fire Department Fire Safety Award Oct. 9 for improving fire safety hazards. A list of honorees is below.

  • The Sharp GentlemanCarver Elementary School
  • Cooper Elementary School
  • Caldwell Elementary School
  • Couch Elementary School
  • Garland ISD Infant Center
  • Heather Glen Elementary School
  • Lakeview Centennial High School
  • Luna Elementary School
  • O’Banion Middle School
  • Weaver Elementary School
  • Williams Elementary School
  • Toler Elementary School