Baytown Educational Action Team
BEAT Alley Life Safety Team
The Baytown Fire Department boasts an exciting, imaginative program that teaches elementary school age children life and fire safety with clowns, puppets, music, magic and more. The Baytown Educational Action Team (BEAT) has been tremendously successful in getting life and fire safety messages out to children of the Goose Creek Independent School District (GCCISD). The first BEAT Alley program for the Baytown Fire Department (BFD) started in the mid 1990’s with a combination of personnel from the prevention division and personnel from the engine companies within the operations division. The BEAT Alley team delivered presentations to students in elementary schools, grades Kindergarten through Third, in GCCISD. The program was placed on hold in 2004 when the fire chief canceled the programs. BEAT Alley was re-instated in 2008 by a group of firefighters that were assigned to the operations division. The resurrection of the program now delivers to all elementary students within the GCCISD.
The topics covered in the team’s presentations through this educational process for fire safety are:
- the Stop, Drop, Cover, and Roll in case your clothes catch fire;
- actions needed to be taken if the smoke detector sounds at home;
- what to do if you find matches or a lighter;
- along with Evacuation Drills in the Home.
- life safety topics such as boat and water safety;
- bullying in schools;
- what children should do if they find a weapon such as a gun or knife;
- bicycle and skateboarding safety.
These programs have been delivered, to assist the team with a thorough message, in various ways to engrain in the children the importance of being safe and what to do if they are faced with any dangers, with the main fire safety messages remaining constant.
The BEAT Alley team meets and determines the message they will be presenting for that year. In past years, they developed programs based on recent movie themes to keep the attention of the children.
- In 2010, the theme was Pirates of the Caribbean where life safety issue addressed were water and boat safety; they also touched on a sensitive area of bullying in schools.
- In 2011, the theme was time traveling where the emphasis was on fire safety dealing with what to do if your clothes catch fire and why open flames are dangerous. They also incorporated some safety education on skateboarding and why there is a need to wear the proper protective equipment.
- In 2012, the theme was based off the movie Men in Black but was titled Clowns in Black. Fire safety was again prevalent with the stop, drop, cover, and roll education. It also addressed the issue of matches and lighters. The life safety education dealt with children finding weapons like a loaded gun and what is expected of them.
- The team continues to emphasize fire safety by advising the students what is right and wrong when dealing fire and what to do when they encounter a fire. The team also places relevant life safety messages that have occurred in the news that the children may have heard or seen on local television stations. This past year’s theme was Safety Town utilizing an “old-western” theme.
Members of BEAT Alley develop and produce a different production each year that reaches over 11,000 students (ages 5-10) along with teachers and staff in GCCISD. The team is able to mobilize their teaching and education efforts, bringing clown and puppeteer theater to where it otherwise might be difficult. This flexibility in location makes it challenging to ensure that audio remains consistent between school gymnasiums.