16 Oct Westampton Fire Department
We’ve been partnering with the Westampton Township Fire Department in New Jersey to develop a Sensory-Friendly concert and songs about Fire Safety. David Shaw is a local firefighter and I have learned so much from him. David was giving a fire safety lecture at the local high school before our two concerts at the Burlington County Special Services School District. He told me a story about these two young men who went to Seton Hall University and survived a dorm blaze which killed 3 other people in their hall. He said, “They woke up in the middle of the night, opened the door and there was black smoke filling up both sides of the hallway” after some students lit a fire following a basketball game. One of them ran to a stairwell where the fire was and the other crawled away from it to another stairwell and suffered from severe burns. The point of the program is that even though we do fire safety for young children we need to continue to educate and prepare people for the unexpected – no matter how old they are or what their developmental abilities are.
My biggest take aways for my own family are that we should agree on a safe space to meet outside of the home (a lamppost, a tree, a fire hydrant) incase there is a fire. I also learned that when David travels and stays at a hotel he personally counts the number of doors between his room and the fire exits incase there is a scenario like the one mentioned above at Seton Hall and there is zero visibility. And as difficult as drills can be you should never ignore a fire alarm even if you are on vacation and just fell asleep. David said he’s had fires in a Marriot in New York City and at Disney World that were the real deal (even though he was suspicious it could’ve been a false alarm).