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2 Posts authored by: lking Employee

It brightens the day to hear great stories about fire prevention and public education. Here’s one, from Jeff Corriveau, division chief of public education in Springwater, Ontario.


“Just wanted to let you know about a very successful fire-prevention undertaking here in Springwater, and it couldn’t have happened without the NFPA and Sparky.


“We ran a program called Ask Sparky, with the Grade 1 and 2 students in our township. This program gave the students the opportunity to write a letter to Sparky. Questions could be about the fire service, Sparky the Fire Dog, fire trucks, fire safety, firefighters, or anything fire-related. This increased students’ knowledge of fire safety, and it’s also a fun way to practise literacy skills. We got a huge buy-in from the schools, as this fit perfectly into the Grade 1 and 2 curriculums.”


Essentially, the fire department arranged to visit the classes with Sparky, and explained to students that they could write letters to Sparky, and Sparky would write back; there were prizes too! Teachers collected the letters and contacted the department.


“We answered the letters and returned with Sparky. Sparky handed out the replies and the prizes. The kids and the teachers loved it,” Corriveau said.


Firefighters visited 12 classes, answered 248 letters (Sparky’s typing skills improved greatly over the course of the program!), and teachers have asked that the program run next year. 


“The NFPA,” Corriveau said, “was invaluable in supplying the persona of Sparky and the licensed gifts we got from our Canadian suppliers. Keep up the great work!!”




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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