MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile Fire Department Citizen's Academy is halfway through its 10-week course.
Monday, April 15, students from the media learned about the Bureau of Fire Prevention and what it does for the community.
Students heard from the Public Education sector as well as the Public Information Sector.
"We want to prevent fires from occurring. Yes, we're here to respond to fires. But it's a lot better if you prevent them from ever occurring," said Steve Huffman.
They also learned about the Bureau of Fire Prevention, and how it enforces codes on commercial businesses.
But perhaps the most important lesson of the day came from someone unexpected.
Instead of educating the public with Sparky the Dalmatian, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department has Precious, a 21-year-old Cockatoo who can even stop, drop, and roll.
"She does stop, drop, and roll. She plays dead. She hides in a fire. She turns into a fan because it's hot. She screams fire," said Kent Lansberg.
Landsberg is the Public Fire Safety Educator for the fire department. He said even though he uses dragons, frogs, Elmo, and of course Precious to educate about fire safety in a fun and unique way, there are still basic tips people need to always remember and one important tool every house should have.
"People have really forgotten how important a smoke alarm is. It's really a life insurance policy. They need to buy new smoke alarms. They need to make sure their smoke alarms have good batteries and are maintained," said Landsberg.
Landsberg said to never trust your nose in a fire. In the middle of the night, if you're sleeping, your nose does not smell smoke. Instead, he said you will inhale carbon monoxide and go into comma and potentially die.
When it comes to smoke alarms, a good time to remember testing and changing the batteries is during daylight saving time.
Check out previous stories about the Citizen's Fire Academy:
If you would like to sign up for the next Citizen's Academy, click here .
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