Consequences of Fire: Primary School Students Learning from the Experience of Burns Survivors

Ms Lesley King1, Ms Alison Wigston2

1Tasmania Fire Service, Hobart, Australia, 2Tasmania Fire Service, Hobart, Australia


The School Fire Education Program is a core community fire safety program of the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS).  It is designed to reduce fire risk, prevent the onset of fire-lighting and teach children fire safety skills that could save their lives.  One of the lessons delivered to Grade 5/6 classes is called Consequences of Fire, and emphasises personal responsibility around the safe use of fire and the consequences of playing with fire, including the risk of burns.  The lesson uses video footage of two primary school-aged boys who sustained serious burns through the unsafe use of fire.  Tim and Ben are now adults, and TFS got in touch with them to ask about their experiences, and what they would like to tell Grade 5/6 students.


Lesley King has worked with the Tasmania Fire Service as a Community Development Officer for five years.  Prior to this she was employed by the Tasmania Department of Education working with families at the Geeveston Child and Family Centre, and has 20 years’ experience working as a community arts and public arts consultant in Western Australia.  Lesley’s interests and expertise include digital storytelling, photography, music, design, community education, place making theory, participatory action research and asset based community development.

Alison Wigston has been a firefighter with the Tasmania Fire Service for 19 years, including four years as an Instructor in the School Fire Education program.  She has recently been a member of the selection panel to recruit the next generation of firefighters for the Tasmania Fire Service.  Alison has a passion for community fire safety, particularly community education.  She is currently an Acting Station Officer in Building Fire Safety, reviewing building plans and ensuring that buildings comply with regulations and standards, but more importantly ensuring that people can safely evacuate if there is an emergency.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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