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Life Safety Park

Grand Opening, Jan. 28

​​Life Safety Park Grand Opening ​​

January 28   |   10:00 am - 3:00 pm   |   820 S. Coppell Road​

Life Safety Park, what is that anyway? That's something many Coppell residents have wondered as they've watched the construction of this complex in Old Town Coppell.

The vision of some sort of safety town started years ago. During the 80's and 90's these training parks for children popped up all across the country, this planted the seed for what has got to be one of the best safety towns in the nation!

Coppell receives a 0.5% sales tax for its parks. With money in the coffers, proposals were made to enhance our park system, resulting in the Bold Vision, Big Impact projects we see happening all around town; one of those proposals envisioned a safety education center. 

The complex houses 5 buildings. The largest, and primary building has 2 main functions, the first being a center for children's safety education and the second as an emergency operations center. This building houses a fire museum, a concrete reinforced emergency operations area internally known as "the bubble," and flexible classroom(s) that can host anywhere from 30 to 100+ and are available for use by the public as meeting rooms outside of school instruction times.  A hands-on feature will be located in the foyer of the building to keep kids busy while waiting for the class adventures to begin.

Also inside the main building is a seating area that overlooks an outside memorial garden dedicated to the memory of fallen police officers and firefighters. 

Emergency Operation Center: The "bubble" is an area where key Coppell personnel will meet in the event of a serious emergency or major disaster. This area has offices, a conference room and 6 cubicles. Each station and office is equipped with screens that are linked together, allowing all personnel to view the same images and information as they work. 

Children's Safety Education: The head of the Safety Park, Jamie Perkins, a former teacher and fire and life safety education specialist, has created a curriculum for children Pre-K through 5th grade. Meeting the TEKS standards, this curriculum can be used by area schools to meet required instruction. Ms. Perkins said, "In addition to the fire department visits to elementary schools, the children will come to the center. This way the kids will learn more through hands on experiences."  She has pulled from her years of experience to help create an environment that is conducive to learning, from the seating the kids will use to the hands-on experiences. 

After the kids receive their classroom instruction they will head out to the other four buildings on the complex. The buildings were made to replicate current and historic landmarks in town. Each building has more than one facade so as the kids move throughout the complex, they will feel like they are entering a different part of the town. One building resembles the fire department on one side, the police department the next, the town hall on yet another and finally the library on the last side. 

A lot of creativity went into this project, the streets within the complex include crosswalks, traffic lanes, bicycle lanes, and railroad crossings. Students will ride either bicycles or battery operated mini jeeps, depending on the grade and their curriculum. They will learn about street safety and laws, bicycle hand signals, proper railroad safety, pedestrian rights and laws and more.

Each of the four "town" buildings are put to use in a unique way.  The garage and general store houses the jeeps and bicycles. The hardware store and depot has a meeting room complete with mini kitchen, this building will also serve as an additional training facility for the police and fire department.
The town hall/ library/ fire station/ police station houses an actual fire truck. Our local firefighters are volunteering their time to turn this truck into a kid friendly experience. There will be movable valves, plexiglass covered compartments showing equipment and workable lights (sirens and horns will be removed). There are wire metal cubbies with actual firefighter gear and some of the cubbies will have miniature gear for the kids to try on. That same building will house a police vehicle and equipment as well. 

And if all that isn't cool enough the final building, which looks like a different house on two sides, has a full kitchen with a stove that will catch fire. This will teach students the best way to respond to a kitchen fire. Also, this building will be used to simulate the threat of a tornado. The city worked with Jeff Jamison, Jeff Ray and Scott Padget with CBS Channel 11 to create a broadcast with severe weather heading toward Coppell. Ms. Perkins said the broadcast will be used in conjunction with instruction to teach children how to seek the safest place in their home, how to duck and cover and take other precautionary measures. The broadcast incorporates simulating the sounds that a tornado and hail will make. Using close-to-life simulations gives the kids the best opportunity to prepare in case of a real live emergency.  Curriculum will be based on age appropriateness and each year will build upon the previous year.

Security is important at the center; all adults must be cleared before entering the building and will wear a badge clearly showing they have gone through the security procedure.

The center has the potential to draw training from around the state for police and firefighters, i.e. Fire Marshalls training meetings, Fire Chiefs training meetings. Hosting such events will give the city an opportunity to train more of our city emergency personnel. In addition, hosting these events can bring additional business to our local restaurants and hotel.

The center is still in need of bicycles, helmets, elbow and knee pads, and would be very appreciative of donations of the unisex 18" wheel bicycles. 

Grand Opening festivities at the new Life Safety Park, 820 S. Coppell Road, are scheduled for January 28, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Come, visit with police officers, firefighters and paramedics as you tour Coppell's brand new Life Safety Park! Enjoy fun games, a photo booth, face painting, food trucks and more at Coppell's newest quality of life facility.