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If you have a question you would like to ask Lieutenant Velazquez click the CONTACT button or email him at



Teacher's Frequently Asked Questions

Milwaukee Public School Teachers:


Is attendance required? 

Yes. The Survive Alive House is a mandatory program for all 2nd and 5th grade MPS students.  

Our faclility is ADA compliant and all special needs students are encouraged to attend, it is at the teachers' discretion if the program will be of benefit for a particular student. We are able to make some accommodations for light and sound sensitivity if necessary. Please notify us if you require these services. We want all students to get the most out of their visit.

When will my school and class attend?

Staff at the Survive Alive House schedules all MPS appointments. Typically 5th grade students attend during the first semester and 2nd grade students will attend during second semester. There are of course, some exceptions to the scheduling. 

Montessori Schools are scheduled to attend every other year, 1st thru 3rd grades and 4th thru 6th grades.

Small schools may have 2nd and 5th grade groups scheduled together.

Classrooms with split grades will be accomodated when possible.

If your scheduled date presents a conflict for your group, please contact us as soon as possible to make changes to your appointment.

What about transportation?

Transportation is arranged for all MPS schools by the Survive Alive House. You will receive reminder bus information about one (1)  month before your scheduled visit regarding your bus pick up time. Specialized Care Transportation is the bus company providing standard transportation services and First Student provides for our wheelchair bus needs. 

Why do I need to bring class list?

The Survive Alive House is a MPS facility, attendance to the Survive Alive House is recorded in the student records. The class list ensures that we are posting attendance to the proper student. Also, accurate student counts are needed in the event of an emergency and MPS policy states teachers should have a class list on a field trip. Homeroom class lists with students names and identification numbers work best. 


Private Schools or Groups:


General Information:

The Survive Alive House is designed to teach 2nd thru 5th grade students fire safety and prevention techniques. Students visit the Survive Alive House for a fire prevention program that lasts approximately 90 minutes. During students’ visit at the Survive Alive House, they have classroom training as well as hands-on practical training.

  • The program is geared towards children in 2nd through 5th grades (ages 7-12). Younger children should not attend.

  • A minimum of 20 and a maximum of 65 students may attend a session. 

  • We operate two (2) programs each school day; one starting at 9:30 am and another starting at 11:30 am.

  • Programs last approximately 90 minutes.  

The program is open to any school or group in the city of Milwaukee, there is no cost to attend the program.

Schools and groups are responsible for providing their own transportation. 

We have limited appointments available during the summer, call or email for availability.

To schedule an appointment, please provide the following information in your call or email: 

  • Name and address of school or organization

  • Contact person name, phone number and email

  • Ages/grade of students attending

  • Number of students attending

  • Any special needs students Survive Alive should be aware of (wheelchairs, sound and light sensitivity, language barriers, physical restrictions, etc)

  • Appointment time preference (if any)

  • Month or days of week you would like to schedule an appointment.


We will return your call or email to arrange an available date for your group. 

Ask Lieutenant Gladney a question


If you have a question you would like to ask Lieutenant Gladney click the CONTACT button or email him at


Some of the questions and answers will be posted below, others with be answered directly.

Q: I need a smoke detector for my home, but we can not afford one, what should we do? Deanna

A: Call the smoke detector hotline at 414-286-8980. They can provide you with a smoke detector at no charge if you need one.



Q: What do I do if I see someone setting a house on fire? What should I do if I hear someone talking about setting someones house on fire? Takayla  

A: If you see someone starting a fire, call 911 immediately! If you hear someone talking about starting a fire tell a parent or another trusted adult, like a teacher or family friend. You need to tell someone as soon as possible so that they can help you make sure no one gets hurt.



Q: Do you have to leave a pet behind in a fire? Do fire departments have oxygen masks for pets? Emily  

A: Most cats and dogs will find their own way out of a fire. Also,  remember they are already low to the ground. You should NOT stay in or go back into a burning building for a pet. Stay as low as possible and find a way out as quickly as you can. Firefighters will rescue animals and are equiped with masks for them if needed.

Q: What are we supposed to do if smoke reaches the part where we are supposed to crawl? Qayve 

A: Stay as low as possible and find a way out as quickly as you can. The smoke near the floor is not as hot as the smoke closer to the ceiling. Stay low, get out, and yell for help. 

 Q: Why do we need to check our smoke detectors every month? Lamiya

A: We check our smoke detectors monthly to make sure they are still working properly. 

Q: Why do you need those clothes? Mikalayah 

A: All the clothes that fire fighters wear are designed to protect them from the heat from a fire. The clothes are also designed to be water repellent to keep them from getting too wet.    

Q: How do you get cats and other animals and elderly out of a burning house safely and quickly? Tabitha

A: Most cats and dogs will find their own way out of a burning building through any open door or window.  If you have elderly persons living with you, how they will get to safety needs to be a part of your fire escape plan. If there are people or pets trapped inside the house, notify the fire department so they can rescue them. The best thing you can do is get out, stay out, call 911, and stay at your meeting place.  

Q: Can paint set a fire?  Alina

A: Paint can not start a fire by itself.

Q: If you didn't have a smoke detector or an escape plan,  and there was a fire while you were sleeping, what should you do?  Isabella

A: Stay low and yell for help. Check your doors and windows to see if there is a way for you to escape. Please take time to make an escape plan for your family and get a smoke detector.

Q: When can I go to Survive Alive again?  Ariyanna

A: MPS school students come to Survive Alive in 2nd and 5th grade.

Q: How do you get to the games? Alexis and Madison

A: Games can be found under the Students tab, activities section. You will need to click the link for the game website you would like.

Q: If my had a fire on my shoulder and I stop, dropped and rolled to get the fire out on my shoulder; should my mom call 911 and tell them that my arm is broke? Jakiya

A: She should call 911 and tell them there is a fire at your house and someone is injured.

Q: Did you invent the smoke detector?  Rayna

A: No, I did not. The first automatic electric fire alarm was invented in 1890 by Francis Robbins Upton (U.S. patent no. 436,961). Upton was an associate of Thomas Edison, but there is no evidence that Edison contributed to this project.

       In the late 1930s the Swiss physicist Walter Jaeger tried to invent a sensor for poison gas. It was 30 years, however, before progress in nuclear chemistry and solid-state electronics made a cheap sensor possible. While home smoke detectors were available during most of the 1960s, the price of these devices was rather high. Before that, alarms were so expensive that only major businesses and theaters could afford them.

       The first truly affordable home smoke detector was invented by Duane D. Pearsall in 1965, featuring an individual battery powered unit that could be easily installed and replaced. The first commercial smoke detectors came to market in 1969. Today they are installed in 93% of U.S. homes. However it is estimated that any given time over 30% of these alarms do not work, as users remove the batteries, or forget to replace them.

Q: How do you know if there is a fire if no one tells you? Jasmine    

A: We know there is a fire if no one is telling us by having a working smoke detector in our house and always making sure that it is tested monthly and that the battery is changed once a year.  

Q: Do you have to have training to be a firefighter? Isabella    

A: Yes, to be a firefighter we go the Milwaukee Fire Department Training Academy where we attend classes to learn how to be firefighters and emergency medical technicians.  This training takes 16 weeks to complete. We have continued training and school every few weeks.

Q: How many kids have you taught? Isabella    

A:  The Survive Alive House has taught over 350,000 children about fire safety since we opened in 1992.  About 15,500 students visit every school year. 

Q: What would you do if you did not have anything for safety and your house was on fire when you were sleeping?  Isabella    

A:  You should talk to your parents right away about getting the proper safety items for your home. Most important is to have a working smoke detector.  You can get one for free if you call the smoke detector hotline at 286-8980.

If you were to have a fire before getting a smoke detector we would want you to go through all the steps you learned when you were here.  Stay low, check the doors with the back of your hand, peek out the door, go out the safe door to your meeting place if it's safe to do so, and to call for help from your window if you are trapped.

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