by NFPA's Lisa Braxton
More than 40,000 school-age children across greater Toronto and Ontario waved their fire safety banners at the special home game yesterday of the Toronto Blue Jays marked as “Fire Safety Day.” The event took place as part of the fifth annual “Swing into Summer Safety” campaign conducted by the Fire Marshal’s Fire Public Safety Council in partnership with the Toronto Fire Services, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The first 25,000 kids to attend received a special edition baseball collector card deck, showcasing their favorite Toronto Blue Jays players with fire safety tips included. Pre-game activities also included getting to hang out with firefighters, Sparky the Fire Dog®, and Ace, the Toronto Blue Jays mascot.
Five fire departments from different areas of Ontario hosted a kickoff at the same time as the launch at Rogers Centre: Huron Shores Fire Department, Fire Department of North Huron, Prince Edward County Fire Department, Timmins Fire Department, and Welland Fire and Emergency Services.
The day was capped off with a win by Toronto. The team beat the Miami Marlins, 7 to 2.
"The Council is most grateful to the Toronto Blue Jays and NFPA for their support of this very worthwhile, summer-long fire safety initiative,” said NFPA Public Education Field Advisor for Canada, Art Pullan, pictured above, right with executives from the energy delivery company, Enbridge, one of the campaign’s sponsors, and Chief Lee Grant of the Oakville, Ontario Fire Department. “Together Sparky and Ace bring a fun element to delivering important lifesaving messages to young children throughout Ontario.”