University of Regina and Regina Fire & Protective Services Partner to improve children’s fire prevention education
A new smart phone app is being developed to update how school children in Regina are learning lifesaving fire safety messages.
Regina Fire & Protective Services (RFPS) is partnering with the University of Regina to develop an app that teaches children what to do if they have a fire in their home.
“Our firefighters recognized that we needed to update how we teach children about 9-1-1 to make these lessons more relevant in this time of smart phones,” said RFPS Fire Chief Layne Jackson. “We were spending more time explaining how to use a dated landline phone than teaching the importance of why and how to call 9-1-1.”
The work was a collaboration between Public Education Officer Candace Giblett and the University’s Community Research Unit, which serves as a bridge between community research needs and the interests and skills of university faculty and students. The project was a perfect fit for Dr. Tim Maciag from the Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science, who is always looking for experiential learning projects for his software students.
“After monitoring an RFPS training session, I decided to challenge students in one of my classes working on people-centred user interface programming,” said Maciag. “The students really rose to the challenge, producing designs beyond what we originally hoped.”
RFPS now has funding from the Community Research Unit to hire a student to finalize the application.
“By late 2020, firefighters will have a software application that they can use during their training sessions,” said Jackson. “The work of Dr. Maciag and his students will save lives. Now how many students can say that?”