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February 22, 2018 Previous day Next day

Public Education Coordinator Stan Barnes, of the Farmington Hills Fire Department, took a recent news story to heart.  Stan reached out to his fellow firefighters across the state of Michigan sharing, with heavy heart, the news of a fatal accident that occurred at a fire station.  "We share in their grief and realize that as safe as we are, and are endeavoring to be, accidents and unfortunate events still sometimes happen, even to us."  And then, just as a fire prevention specialist does, Stan took action.  He sat down, revisited, and updated the station's Safety Policy for Station Tours, giving more thought to a comprehensive policy.  And perhaps Stan's action will spur on other fire department's to do the same.

Teaching public education is sometimes like coaching very young hockey players; you never know quite how much information is getting through until little Johnny puts the puck deep, gives chase, then passes to a teammate in front of the net to score – just as practised!

 

Capt. Robert Taylor, a paid on-call firefighter for the City of Maple Ridge Fire Department in British Columbia, was part of a team delivering a kindergarten-to-Grade 3 fire safety program in the city’s elementary schools a few weeks ago.

 

“Later that week he was doing some driver training with another member,” said Maple Ridge Assistant Chief Timo Juurakko, “and had an experience that I asked him to put into writing.”

 

 Capt. Taylor takes it from here:

 

“The other day I was working in school doing K-3 pub-ed. As you know, the thought is always in your head – are we making a difference?

 

“Later that evening I was out doing a new driver training lesson when we came across a stranded vehicle in the middle of an intersection. We pulled to the side of the road and went to try and help, along with another female, who had also stopped to help.

 

“We got the vehicle to a safe spot, and the second female returned to her vehicle.

 

Capt. Robert Taylor of Maple Ridge Fire Department in British Columbia

“Just as we were returning to our lesson I heard the second female say, ‘So you are Capt. Taylor. Thanks to you, we have now checked our smoke alarms, and are working on our escape plans. I cannot even leave the kitchen unless I turn off the pans!’

 

“As I looked in the back of her vehicle, I saw a young boy waving. He was one of the students we had been with in school.

 

“Guess we can make a difference.”

 

He shoots. He scores!

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