This week, MySafe:LA congratulated its first class of Jr. Fire Inspectors at an Elementary School in Los Angeles. These students are among a group that has successfully completed a series of educational steps designed to help them and their families become “FireSmart:LA.”
“We’re working to ensure that every type of living space is equipped with working smoke alarms,” MySafe:LA Instructor Chris Nevil said. “These students have completed a three step process, including a written home fire inspection that they conducted with their family.”
“The key to this program is engagement,” MySafe:LA Executive Director David Barrett said following a school presentation. “Many of these homes will benefit most from internal review and inspection. If anyone in our program does not have a working smoke alarm, MySafe:LA will provide one at no cost.” Students who complete the course receive Jr. Fire Inspector ID cards. They also get to interact with Los Angeles Firefighters at their school.
The program, which commenced in February and continues thru the end of July will engage more than 2,000 4th and 5th grade students in at-risk neighborhoods. The original target of 1,000 smoke alarms, “will be easily surpassed,” according to David Barrett.
The concept for the Jr. Fire Inspector program dates back to the mid 20th century. “I was a Jr Fireman,” David Barrett remembers. “It was a thrill for the kids then – and it should be now as well. Several of our instructors and officers were jr firefighters when we were kids, so this is a terrific progression.”
MySafe:LA and the LAFD deliver fire and life safety education to children, families, and older adults throughout Los Angeles. During the past two years, MySafe:LA has presented to more than 140,000 students, as well as older adults, firefighters, and educators.