One of the most important initiatives ever implemented by the Wheeling Fire Department is its fire safety house. For many years it has been used to help children learn what to do if fire breaks out.
Firefighters have unveiled a new, improved version of the training facility, replacing one used for 13 years. The new trailer was paid for with state and federal grants, along with a contribution from Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration.
The new fire safety house uses harmless water vapor to fill the trailer with simulated smoke, showing youngsters how difficult it can be to simply get out of a burning building. It includes other equipment such as a stove and fireplace to demonstrate fire hazards.
Down through the years, thousands of children have gone through the department's fire safety house and have been educated by firefighters on how to prevent fires as well as how to escape from burning buildings.
We have no doubt the facility - and firefighters' conscientiousness in training children - has saved many lives.