Ten years ago, the Upper Austrian fire brigade association began work on teaching materials to give primary school children basic knowledge about fire protection, prevention and disaster control in a way that is suitable for children. In the meantime, this has resulted in a whole bundle of tools that teachers can use in the classroom.
Digital and interactive: at the click of a mouse or via touchscreen, the children and young people learn, for example, how fire starts, how to put it out correctly and how to put it out incorrectly, how long a fire extinguisher lasts and much more. The teaching materials are not only aimed at kindergarten and elementary school children, but also at secondary level one and two, as fire department president Robert Mayer informed at a press conference on Friday. “Our tools are intended to make the teachers’ work easier, they can also incorporate the content into the lesson whenever it is up-to-date.” Upper Austria has taken on a pioneering role here.
The fire protection basics are available at schubu.at and Gemein-sicher-feuerwehr.at. In the elementary school in Holzhausen, for example, the documents have been used for ten years – at that time they were still folders. “It is gratifying to see the curiosity and thirst for knowledge with which the children absorb this important information. The documents are easy to understand and well prepared,” says Barbara Gruber, the director of VS Holzhausen.
Christine Haberlander (VP), deputy governor responsible for education, praises the fire brigade’s commitment to education. The tools would also teach the children and young people values such as voluntary work and togetherness.
Treating bowing, fire and disaster protection in class is an “essential step for our society towards everyday safety,” says Michaela Langer-Weninger (VP), the state councilor responsible for fire brigades. Children’s curiosity is all the greater when something is forbidden, such as lighting a fire or experimenting with fire. According to the state councilor, the “attraction of what is forbidden” is counteracted by discussing and teaching how to deal with fire correctly.