Tri-Town Safety Village was founded by group of individuals who had
seen a working Safety Village in Fort Wayne while at a meeting 20 years ago.
Its goal is teaching safety to school age children.
Currently programs include fire safety in “Serve-a-Live,” and railroad
safety in “Operation Life Saver.” Law enforcement officers teach about safely
riding bicycles and crossing streets and about stranger danger.
New this year, NIPSCO will build a unit that teaches children of all
ages about natural gas and electrical safety around their equipment. Also,
Enbridge Energy will be building a model working pipeline to show how fuels get
from place to place.
The Tri Town Safety Village is an actual child-sized town which
includes replicas of local businesses, a full size Survive Alive house and real
railroad and street crossing areas complete with working train crossing and stop
light equipment. Located on four acres at 1350 Eagle Ridge Drive in
Schererville, it is just west of the Schererville BMW dealer and next to AMC
Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by the administration building.
“This will be the start to a fascinating visit, CN Railroad Officer
Eric Graf said. “Many years of study design and testing by many dedicated
professionals in the field of law enforcement fire safety water safety
architecture and construction resulted in a working model city in which children
can learn and have fun at the same time in the Safety Village.”
This project involves local police and firemen from each town.
Classroom and field activities are included along with programs dealing with
pedestrian, drugs and stranger awareness. "Rules Of The Road" are learned in a
safe environment. Graf said half of the children walk and act the role of
pedestrians while the other half is introduced to the road by driving miniature
vehicles throughout the facility. Further education from the CN Railroad &
"Operation Lifesaver" teaches how dangerous railroad crossings can be along with
train safety and why you do not play on the tracks or throw items at trains.
Children also learn home hazards, bicycle, electrical and basic water safety as
well as their regular lessons.
Locally, programs are incorporated as a field trip for kindergarten
through fifth grade. All other age groups can be served with custom-designed
programs, including those that are geared to the handicapped, girl and boy
scouts, the elderly and church groups. This facility is open to all of Northwest
Indiana and the surrounding communities.
The Survive Alive House is a full-size, two-story structure which
utilizes modern special effects technology to simulate an actual fire. The walls
glow red, the doors heat and windows flash just like a real fire. Then the smoke
enters the rooms and the children must get low, feel the door and learn how to
survive during the simulated fire. They must then exit the house and dial 911 to
summon help. It is designed as a safe environment where children can practice
home fire escape plans while becoming familiar with real fire situations and
learn a fireman in gear is not scary, he is a friend.
“This project, to the best of our knowledge, is the largest Safety
Village in the United States,” Graf said. “We are here due to the generous
donations of many businesses and volunteers. The Safety Village hosts
fundraisers throughout the year to help defray costs.
Attendance is by appointment only. Please call the office at (219)
865-9600 for times and pricing. We structure the program according to age, size
of group and time available, Graf said. Occasionally Open Houses are held. Call
for times and dates.