SEARCY, Ark. — It may seem like it's far off and doesn't matter in central Arkansas, but the fire that tore through an apartment building in a New York borough over the weekend has moments to teach us, the Searcy Fire Department says.
"We even take that and look at how that would apply to our city and our response and what we would do there," Captain Corbry Swain said. "We think of every fire as if it's in a box, and if we were to take that box, at the end of the day, we have to get water on that fire and get people out."
Captain Swain says they're always looking to do better, even looking at fires like the one in the Bronx – distance doesn't stop the ability to learn from this.
"Our number one thing is going to be fire prevention," he said. "If we can keep that fire from happening in the first place, great."
Captain Swain says this is a good chance to learn and remind people that this could happen anywhere. It's why Searcy has something besides fire trucks at Station 2 – a fire safety house.
It's a two-story miniature home for students to learn from.
"For us, it allows us to walk them through the motions, so we can show them videos all day, but we like to walk them through the motions and get that routine, that muscle memory," Captain Swain said.
Some of those are basic tips, like stop, drop and roll, or crawling, not standing if there's smoke.
Other tips include things like keeping doors closed to help cut off air flow in case of a fire.
These tips have been harder to teach, however, as they've had to do them virtually. But there's always a silver lining.
"That also went with our YouTube channel, we had a lot of involvement with parents at the home who are homeschooling kids, so our reach probably actually broadened," Captain Swain said.
He says that's a good thing – anybody and everybody needs to hear how to stay safe in a fire.
"Sure, we take any example we can get, not just from the Bronx fire, but even fires that we've maybe had here locally," Captain Swain said. "We'll take what we've had throughout the year and try to bring that forward, and maybe some of our messages, especially to parents."