“Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.” I saw that posted at a Snohomish County Fire District 7 station. I was there assisting in a project that showed how seriously they take that quote.
When schools and other public institutions closed due to COVID-19, most organizations were left scrabbling. While understandable, this was not an option for first responders. Fire District 7 immediately took action to address health concerns for workers and the public, but they also decided to extend their public outreach, rather than cut it back.
Since education programs couldn’t happen in schools, District 7 adapted and went where students were, at home. They began hosting weekly Facebook Live classes that were viewed by thousands. But instead of limiting their lessons to fire safety, they created a 13-week curriculum teaching kids how firefighters use math and science to do there jobs. It was brilliant! From calculating firehose pressure to the physics of pulleys while performing rescues, the featured staff covered math, chemistry, anatomy and even cooking, map-mapping and music.
As the staff responsible for public information and education, Heather Chadwick and Kaitlin King were the primary drivers of the outreach, but dozens of other staff were featured and deserve credit, especially the leadership of Fire District 7. If you missed them, the sessions were captured, edited and posted along with homework and activities worksheets. They’re available for educators, kids, parents, or anyone at: snofire7.org/education.