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Urban City Burn Prevention Education Program Effective in Rural Community

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Urban City Burn Prevention Education Program Effective in Rural Community

Author Block: J. Radics, MBA, M. Zaragoza, K. Lau, PhD., G. Reeser, D. Eckerdt
Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, Fresno, CA; TBS Statistical Services, Fremont, CA; Selma Fire Department,
Selma, CA; San Francisco Fire Department, San Francisco, CA

Activity: Abstract

Introduction: Research indicates that students retain more safety knowledge when they receive burn prevention education multiple times during their grade school years. Based on this model, a statewide burn foundation and an urban fire department have delivered the Firefighters in Safety Education (FISE) to more than 120,000 children over the past 13 years. The goal of this current study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this urban burn prevention program in a rural community.

Methods: The FISE curriculum teaches key skills including: Stop, Drop, & Roll; Cool-A-Burn; Crawl Low and Go; Hug A Firefighter; Importance of Smoke Alarms; Toys vs. Tools; How to Dial 911; Personal Responsibility; Home Escape Plan; Degrees of Burns and Consequences. All content is delivered in a single 30-minute presentation. Students complete five-question multiple choice tests before the presentation (pre-test) and within the day following the presentation (post-test). Three different age-appropriate versions of the same test (kindergarten, first through third grades, fourth and fifth grade) were used. The tests were administered by teachers in the classroom. In Spring 2014, trained firefighters from a rural community, administered the FISE curriculum with pre and post testing to
1,411 grade school students in 4 elementary schools with take-home information for the students as well as information for the siblings and parents in their primary language. Mean (standard error, SEM) of the pre-test scores (in percentage % of correct answers), post-test scores and their difference were calculated for the students who completed both pre-tests and post-tests in each of the three age groups. Paired t-test was used to test whether posttest score is higher than pre-test score for the same student. Results are significant if one-sided p-values < 0.001.
Results: 298 matched and completed pre- and post-tests from 4 schools were received out of 1,411 students that received the FISE program curriculum in the rural community. As in Table 1, Kindergarteners (n=117) had a mean (SEM) score increase of 29.1% (2.4%) with a one-sided paired t-test p-value of 2.3E-22. The pre-test score was 39.7% (2.0%) while the post-test score was 68.7% (1.8%). Grades 1-3 (n=111) had a score increase of 21.1% (2.1%) (p=4.2E-17) with a pre-test score of 60.5% (2.4%) and a post-test score of 81.6% (1.8%). Grades 4-5 (n=70) had a
score increase of 13.4% (2.1%) (p=8.6E-09) with a pre-test score of 54.9% (2.6%) and a post-test score of 68.3% (2.4%).

Conclusions: Students at schools from a rural community that received the FISE presentation, developed in and for an urban city, had a significant increase in knowledge of fire safety and burn prevention topics after one presentation. The FISE Program proved effective in a rural community. Repeated dissemination of the FISE program to the same children in this study is required to determine the effectiveness and levels of retention of burn prevention education.

Applicability of Research to Practice: Partnerships among nonprofits, schools and fire departments are essential in the efficient and effective dissemination of burn prevention education to children.

External Funding: Selma Healthcare District

Table 1: Pre-test, Post-test, and difference in test scores with paired t-test (one-sided)