Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum

Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
My daughter has just completed her first “year” of homeschooling, which seems like a silly thing to say considering that we’ve been teaching her at home her whole life.  But, she completed all of her goals for first grade.  One of our favorite units, which we broke into two parts, we called “Firefighter Training.”  Sofi love, love, loves firefighters, and anything firefighter related.  She tells everyone that she will be a firefighter when she grows up.  So, when we needed to talk about safety related subjects – as required by law in our state, and just for common sense purposes – I tried to make it more fun and pertinent for her by calling it Firefighter Training!

Firefighters need to be able to cope with all types of situations.  We have learned that pretty much all firefighters have to not only know how to fight fires, but also need to be trained as paramedics.  Most of the time, when a 911 call comes in, the local fire department also responds.  Often, at the scene, paramedics and police officers need the strength and specialized tools that a fire company carries – even if there is no threat of fire.  So, it was important for my little firefighter to know how to cope with all manner of emergency situations – not just how to aim a hose at a fire.

For our unit, we covered the following topics:

I. List of emergencies to prepare for.
A. Fire
D. Earthquake
E. Flood
F. Winter Weather
G. Extreme Heat
H. Downed Power Lines
I. Wild Animals
J. Gun safety
K. Being lost
L. Injury 
M. Sneaky People

II. Know how to identify warnings
A. weather sirens
B. Weather app

III. How to prepare for each emergency
A. Fire
1. Discuss Exit Strategy
2. Make a Map
3. Know meet up destination
1. Stay under sturdy cover
2. Stay away from windows
3. Stay away from tall objects
1. Take cover in a low lying area
a. basement
b. bathtub
c. ditch
2. Protect head, neck and back
a. mattress
b. hands
D. Earthquake
1. Drop to hands and knees and crawl to shelter
2. Shelter under sturdy tables during quake
E. Flood
1. Do not play alone near lakes, ponds, rivers or streams
2. Do not play in water drainage ditches
3. Do not go into water that you cannot see through
4. Do not go into water that has debris floating in it.
F. Winter Weather
1. Wear warm clothing
a. Long underwear
b. Long sleeved shirt/sweater
c. Warm socks
d. Snow boots
e. Warm coat
f. Gloves or mittens
g. Warm hat
h. Scarf
2. Stay dry
3. Avoid frostbite
a. Keep skin covered
b. Keep extremities warm
4. If outside, be careful walking on surfaces that could be slippery
a. Porches
b. Sidewalks
c. Parking lots
d. Snow
e. Frozen waterways
5. Keep an Emergency Car Kit
a. Antifreeze
b. Wiper Fluid
c. Cat litter
d. Scraper
e. Flashlight
f. Water
g. Snacks
h. Blankets
i. Fix-a-flat
j. Jumper cables
k. Flares
l. First aid kit
m. Candle
6. Build 72 Hour Kits
7. Discuss Emergency Plans
G. Extreme Heat
1. Stay out of direct sun
a. stay in shade if outside
b. use water to cool down
i. sprinkler
ii. swimming pool
iii. wading pool
c. park car in shade
2. Use air conditioning or fans inside
3. Use windows or air conditioning in car
a. do not leave children or pets in parked cars
b. do not play in cars
c. cover car seats
d. metal on cars may burn
H. Downed Power Lines
I. Wild Animals
J. Gun Safety
K. Being lost
L. Injury
1. Bumps and bruises
2. Scrapes
3. Cuts
4. Broken bones
5. Falls
6. Fainting
M. Sneaky People (Name borrowed from, material borrowed from

1. I am the boss of my own body, and other people are the boss of theirs.
2. Know name, address, phone number and parents’ names.
3. Safe grown ups to ask for help.
4. Never go anywhere with anyone or take anything from anyone you don’t know without asking a parent first.
5. Always check first with a parent before going anywhere, or getting into a car with someone even if it is someone you know.
6. No one should ever look at or touch the area that your bathing suit covers unless you ask them to.
7. It is ok to not be nice to someone if they are hurting you or giving you the uh-oh feeling.
8. We don’t keep secrets from our parents.
9. We all have a magic voice in our heads called our conscience, and it is always best to listen to it, especially if it is telling you uh-oh!

Some of these topics were pretty cut and dry.  Downed power line? Stay away from it, make sure the toddler and the dog are in the house, tell a grown up.  Some of them were a bit scarier.  If you are ever in a public place and someone starts shooting a gun, you run and hide – and it is ok to go without Mommy and Daddy, just HIDE.  The overlying theme – “and then come tell an adult.”

The segment that was the most fun, was making our 72-hour “Emergency Kits.”  We worked together to make lists of what types of things we would need for an emergency.  My kids are young – 4 and 6, so I didn’t want this to put scary ideas in their heads, like terrorist attacks, or bombings, or what have you.  So, we focused on more natural disaster type things that would necessitate similar precautions.  We talked about what we would need if there were a blizzard that knocked our power out for a few days.  How would we stay warm?  How would we cook?  What kinds of foods could we easily prepare and eat with minimal water or energy consumption (that would still work for everyone’s allergies and keep us all safe)?  What if there were a big flood and we had to evacuate?  What would we need to take with us?  Where would we go?  Who would be our contact person so that if Daddy were at work an hour away and we all had to evacuate immediately without having time for Daddy to come home first?

It was really wonderful how many of these questions my kids were able to answer on their own.  They are really very aware of what goes on around them, and how things work.  They were even able to help me make a menu for a 72 hour kit that would meet everyone’s nutritional and allergen needs.  Then we had the fun of collecting the items we would need to make our 72 hour kits, and everyone got to pick out a new backpack to store his or her things in.  All of the backpacks are stored together in a little used closet, along with a bin of food and bottled water.  We also compiled lists of emergency needs for the car and the van and assembled them.

This was such a fun unit for us to do, with a lot of hands on time!  We covered the wintery subjects in the fall and the summery subjects in the spring when it warmed up.  Then we talk about them and reinforce them often.  My little firefighter found that she was able to cope with a lot of scary topics, with a minimum of tears, and learn what she needed to know to keep herself safe!

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)


7 thoughts on “Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum

  1. I really need to do some more fire safety practice with my kids! I want to do some fire drills, because Mikko’s been hearing about them as something you do at school. It finally occurred to me that it makes perfect sense for home, too!


  2. This is THE list, I’m pretty sure. You’ve covered so much! Thanks for taking the time to put it all on here for us, I think this could easily be a go to guide for any parent to cover with their kids. Homeschool or public school – ALL kids should be taught these things.


  3. Dionna, if you want it, I’ve got the list of items for our 72 hour kits and our emergency car kits. I can send them over to you.Lauren, we did fire drills and it was a lot of fun! We also did drills that included what the kids should do if I were upstairs putting the baby down or something else where they would have to get out of the house without me, and where to meet up, etc.Destany, it is true that all kids need to know these things! All too many kids learn what they are supposed to do at school in these situations, but then don’t know how to apply these things ideas in an emergency at home.


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