Survive Alive House kicks off ‘National Fire Prevention Week’

October 11, 2018

On Monday, October. 8, 2018, MPS students, local dignitaries, and experienced Milwaukee firefighters kicked off the 2018 National Fire Prevention Week at the Survive Alive House with fire safety lessons from Mayor Tom Barrett, MPS superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley, MPS School Board President Mark Sain, and Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing.

Second grade students from the nearby Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School also showed off their “I Will Survive” performance before going through the Survive Alive curriculum, which featured a classroom tutorial from firefighters and situational lessons inside the Survive Alive House.

“Fire prevention education plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of our children, families, and the entire community,” Posley said. “The Survive Alive House serves as a model for how experiential learning results in transferable skills, and we are pleased to celebrate the incredible impact the program has on our community as we launch Fire Prevention Week.”

The students, parents, and firefighters reviewed fire safety keys on Monday, such as preparing for an emergency situation; establishing safe zones around the house; stop, drop, and roll; safely exiting a room or building; calling for help; and communicating with 9-1-1. Along with a classroom, the Survive Alive House is equipped with two different practice bedrooms, windows with ladders, non-harmful fog smoke machines, fire effect lights, and monitors for students and spectators to watch and learn from the emergency situation. Once the students emerge from the house, there is even a life-size smart phone for students to practice a call with a 9-1-1 operator.

“We have been reminded that fires can happen anywhere far too often in our community,” Sain, a former firefighter himself, said Monday. “Fire Prevention Week challenges us… to work together to prevent tragic fires.”

Adrian Cross, a 12-year-old MPS student, passed away in a fire last month. Dr. Posley held a moment of silence for Adrian and his family prior to speaking at Monday’s event.

The Survive Alive House officially opened its doors in February 1992. Since then, the Milwaukee Fire Department and Milwaukee Recreation have jointly managed the house. On an annual basis, every second and fifth grader enrolled in MPS visits the Survive Alive House; more than 380,000 children have experienced the fire safety program since its inception. As a result, Milwaukee’s fire-related fatalities among school-aged children have decreased dramatically.

The Foundation for the Milwaukee Fire Education Center has funded several technological upgrades to the Survive Alive House in both the classroom and the “street scene.” These improvements assist the instructors with their presentation and enhance the impact this program has on students. Additionally, a recent partnership with The Hero In You Foundation’s Rocket Rules safety education program will provide students with interactive lessons and fire safety education books to supplement their field trip experience.