Wisniewski Launches Fire Safety Education Initiative

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SAYREVILLE–Following a March 30 roundtable discussion with education and fire safety experts, Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski stressed the need for improvements in the way New Jersey educates students about the dangers associated with fire on Monday.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, FMBA President William Lavin and Dr. Frank Field speak to school children at a fire safety assembly at Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville on March 30. (Photo credit: Michele Doughty)

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, FMBA President William Lavin and Dr. Frank Field speak to school children at a fire safety assembly at Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville on March 30. (Photo credit: Michele Doughty)

“Every year, hundreds of young lives are lost in residential fires, mainly because the children do not know how to act in a fire emergency,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the New Jersey Fire Safety Commission.  “We need to improve on how we teach our children about fire safety so that the first thing they think of in a blaze isn’t ‘Stop, Drop and Roll.’ ”

In his role as Fire Safety Commission Chairman, the assemblyman has been working to promote a more thorough and proactive teaching of fire education in New Jersey schools.  The Monday roundtable meeting on the topic included Dr. Frank Field, noted fire safety expert and lecturer; Lucille Davy, commissioner of the state Department of Education; William Lavin, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA); and other education and fire officials.

Wisniewski has been working with Dr. Field – who created an educational series of videos on fire safety called “Fire Is…” – to improve young students’ awareness and understanding of fire emergencies.  The pair have visited several local schools to speak with students and educators about the need for expanded fire safety education in the classroom. 

“It was while working with fire professionals on my ‘Fire Is…’ series that I learned how very much, even as an adult, I did not know about fire safety,” said Dr. Field.  “Times have changed, but the alarming statistics have not.  So much more can be done to teach our children about the importance of fire safety.”

“Most children, and even some adults, when asked what they should do in the event of a fire will respond ‘Stop, drop and roll,’ ” said Lavin.  “Though this is useful information if you or your clothes catch on fire, the reality is that there are many other important lessons still left to teach.  I applaud Assemblyman Wisniewski for bringing this issue to light and look forward to working with him on a program that will help keep our children safe.”


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