New app offers safety tips from Regina Fire and Protective Services
REGINA -- In a typical year, Regina Fire and Protective Services presents approximately 400 public fire prevention education sessions to the community, but because of the pandemic, it had to come up with some new ways to get the message across.
“We haven’t been able to do 400 large in-group sessions, so we’ve had to change how we do our work into a more virtual environment,” Layne Jackson, Chief of Regina Fire and Protective Services (RFPS), said. “But we’re continuing to do it because we know how important it is.”
A NEW APP
With the help of the University of Regina, RFPS has created a new app called Regina - Fire 911 Education.
The app helps parents teach their children how to call 911 by actually dialling and hitting the call button, without connecting to a real dispatcher.
It also teaches users how to find their address and provides a script for kids to read to a 911 dispatcher.
“The app is meant to teach kids because we want them to know how to escape and do the right thing, like calling 911,” Loly Shalishali, public education officer with RFPS, said. “The app has been designed to teach kids to call 911 even when there is no network.”
The app can be downloaded from any app store.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Over the past few months, RFPS has made a conscious effort to be more active on social media.
Staff are posting on Twitter in real time when they are called to an active fire.
“Social media is something that we’re really wants to progress in and advance in,” Jackson said “Real time information on incidents that we’re going to are teachable moments. They’re sending those out and they’re making a big impact.”
They’re also posting more fire prevention and safety tips. Chief Jackson said cooking is the leading cause of fire in Regina. Over the past few years, the department has seen a 42 per cent decrease in the number. Jackson credits that to the education they do, which is now being shared on social media.
“With this outreach and the way with Twitter and all the other social media, it’s a real inventive and in the now kind of way to reach out to the community in real time,” Lieutenant Jason Dundas with RFPS said.
In a typical year, the fire department visits schools all over the city to give important safety education lessons. Now they are providing virtual tours and presentations. To more effectively share their lessons, staff members are creating videos as well.
The first video, which will also be posted online, shows children how to react if they sense a fire and how to create a safe escape plan with their family.
“It’s very important for our community to get messages that will help them reduce the risk, prevent the risk of fires in their homes,” Shalishali said. “It’s important for them to understand some of the scientific proven strategies that are out there for them to prevent fire risk.”
The fire department will return to face to face lessons when it’s safe to do so, but it will also continue with its revamped digital presence in hopes of spreading fire safety lessons as far as possible.