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CCU students evaluate national fire safety program

February 7, 2008

Selected Coastal Carolina University freshmen, resident assistants and student workers recently participated in a new fire and burn safety training program for college students. The objective of the world-class educational program, titled "To Hell and Back III: The College Years," is to make students aware of the potential dangers of fire and the precautions that can be taken.

CCU is one of more than 60 pilot site locations selected by the People's Burn Foundation to preview and evaluate the program. Other universities that participated include Northwestern University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University.

Three sessions, each lasting two hours, were held on CCU's campus. The participants took a pre-test, which calculated the knowledge that each student possessed about fire and burn safety. Next, the students watched a video about fire and burn safety, which documented the experiences and post-traumatic lives of two burn victims. The students then took another test to calculate what they had learned from the video. A survey was taken at the end of the session to evaluate the program's effectiveness.

The results of each pilot site location's evaluation of the upcoming program will be presented at the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis in April 2008. It will then be distributed, free of charge, to every fire department, college, university and high school in the United States for the purpose of educating young people about fire and burn safety.

Della Hines founded the People's Burn Foundation in 1996 after she lost two of her children in a fire and survived third degree burns. Hines' foundation later received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to produce the "To Hell and Back" educational program.

For more information contact Steve Kelsey, fire marshal of CCU's Department of Public Safety, at 349-2930.