Educating children about fire — from hundreds of miles away

Natchez Trace Parkway fire outreach
Natchez Trace Parkway fire outreach
Firefighters Richard Carson and Andy Schnetzer ignite student curiosity long distance. NPS photo by Jennifer L. Ward

Firefighters at the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi presented an educational program about fire management to students at Hinchcliffe Elementary School in O’Fallon, Illinois last Friday. You may be wondering if they drove 406 miles (Google directions) to O’Fallon. No, they didn’t. They used Skype to send live video to the children who had been studying wildfire and were excited to have real wildland firefighters speak to their class.

The firefighters set up the connection outside the National Park Service Visitor Center in Tupelo, Mississippi so that the students could see the fire truck and equipment. This Skype session was the first for both Hinchcliffe Elementary School and the Natchez Trace Parkway. The students were able to interact and ask questions during the 30-minute session.

This seems like a great way to contact a lot of school children at little or no cost, during a time when many federal agencies are working with depleted budgets.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.