Children's Safety Educational Program
Round Rock's Fire Department boasts an exciting, imaginative program that teaches elementary children fire and life safety with clowns, puppets, music, magic and more. The Rock Solid Safety Team has been tremendously successful in getting life and fire safety messages out to Round Rock children.
The department has tracked a significant decline in the instances of fires in the community attributed to children playing with matches.
The Team not only performs at Round Rock's 18 elementary schools every year, it frequently works with fire departments in other cities to help them develop similar programs and has conducted seminars for the national convention of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Since 1994, the Team has reached an estimated 67,000 elementary children.
Each year, the team develops a new skit to perform. They use educational characters to teach behavior.
For instance, in a Cajun-themed sketch, the puppet Gus the Gator taught crawling low in smoke. The skits encourage audience participation and engage the kids with song and movement to get safety messages across.
Those messages include using matches/lighters as tools, not toys; checking smoke detectors; wearing helmets on bikes; and wearing seatbelts in vehicles.
Round Rock's educational program began in 1981 with a name the Dalmatian puppy contest. The team began developing their own skits in the mid-90's after training at the Arizona Fire and Burn Educator's Association Educational Characterization School, which teaches the development of original skits using clowns and puppets.
The Team has received national recognition in fire education. It regularly conducts programs at the Arizona Educational Characterization School. It has also conducted seminars for the International Association of Fire Chiefs. It works year round with fire departments in other communities, helping them to develop similar programs.
For more information on the Rock Solid Safety Team, contact Billy Wusterhausen at 512-218-6632.