Fire department gives safety lessons in schools

Recent fire deaths enhance importance of safety education.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – It’s Fire Prevention Week, and with three fire-involved fatalities across South Dakota recently, fire and life safety have taken on critical importance.

Monica Colby gives a presentation to third-graders at Corral Drive Elementary School about fire safety, and how quickly fire can spread in a home. Photo Date: Oct. 10, 2018.

Monica Colby talks to third-graders about how fast fire can spread.

An annual program by the Rapid City Fire Department sends staff to visit every school in Rapid City with age-appropriate messages about developing a safe lifestyle.

Third-graders at Corral Drive Elementary School learned about how quickly fire can spread in a home Wednesday morning, and why it is important to have functioning smoke detectors, sprinklers and a well-rehearsed escape plan.

Monica Colby, fire and life safety officer with the Rapid City Fire Department, says it is important to get these messages out to students while they are young.

“We’re trying to reach all of the elementary kids,” Colby said. “This is a time when people are setting up their belief system. This is a time when a kid is going to decide how safe they are going to be for the rest of their lives.

“And they’re really good at teaching their parents, teaching their grown-ups at home about safety,” Colby continued. “So, if we can teach them here, hopefully, that message gets home to the rest of the family too.”

And the students took that message to heart, with one student already planning what to talk to his parents about.

“They need to install a lot of stuff into their house if they don’t have that,” said Ethan Day, a third-grader in Ashley Skavang’s class, “so that if there is a real fire, you could get out safely.”

For more information about fire safety, visit the Rapid City Fire Department online, or go to

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News