Reaching the Masses with the Fire Safety Message

Have you given any thought to doing a fire safety presentation via Skype? Lately, Sparkles and I have had an amazing time sharing the fire safety message via this incredible technology.
For those of you unfamiliar with Skype, it is a free and easy way for educators to share the fire safety message. It is a fast-growing technology and I found some stats on Skype that I wanted to share. Did you know that 197 million people will be using Skype this year compared to 4.8 million in 2004? That’s a quite a leap!
What are some of the benefits you may ask? Benefits include the ability to reach more people, its affordable (a definite bonus during these challenging economic times) and there is less wear and tear on the educator!
Here is an example~ When Sparkles and I do a typical fire safety presentation, we have a minimum of two bags of Sparkles’ things as well as additional props. I don’t know about you, but loading and unloading a bunch of things in bags and tubs can be a big headache at times and can provide wear and tear on the body. In addition, we do not receive any compensation for our trips, so traveling can be quite challenging as there are no funds.
Last week, Sparkles and I visited our new friends that we met on Facebook, Barbara Techel and Frankie the Walk ‘n Roll Dog in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Frankie suffered a debilitating spinal injury and now uses the aid of a wheelchair. Her owner, Barbara, wrote a children’s book about Frankie, and the two travel locally in their area sharing the message about the importance of staying positive. Sparkles and Frankie now work together as an outreach of their individual efforts to combine the fire safety message for those with physical challenges.
The four of us did two fire safety presentations last Friday~ one at Elkhart Lake Elementary and one skype visit to a school in Western Canada. After dragging three bags of props and Sparkles’ things, carrying Sparkles’ soft side bed, not to mention the computer and other electronic devices needed, the four of us were pretty much wiped out by the end of the presentation.
When we were preparing to do a Skype presentation to the school in Canada (complete with children, teachers, the principal and even a Canadian firefighter) a couple of hours later, as Barb and I were sitting there waiting to be connected, her with Frankie in her lap and me with Sparkles at my feet, she said to me “Isn’t this a lot easier than dragging around all that stuff you carry with you?” Guess what my answer was to her? You got it, it was definitely a wonderful change!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love face to face presentations, but when budget and time is limiting, consider skyping! Would Sparkles and I have been able to reach children in Canada with the fire safety message? That would have been a monetary challenge!
So, when you are thinking of innovative ways to get your message “out there,” consider giving Skyping a try!