News

Bedford fire safety contest awards students

Friday, March 8, 2013

By LORETTA JACKSON

Staff Writer

Fire prevention is important at all times of year and thanks to a fire-safety coloring contest sponsored by the Bedford Fire Department, some families in Bedford are better prepared, year-round, for a fire emergency.

The contest encouraged youngsters to design a home-exit plan, one that specified a nearby meeting place where the family would assemble to make sure all members reunite following a home emergency.

Capt. Kevin Murray, head of the Fire Prevention Unit at the Bedford Fire Department, said the coloring contest was a part of the most recent Fire Prevention Open House. The event, held annually in October during National Fire Prevention Week, is designed to familiarize residents with fire-fighting personnel and equipment, BFD fire-safety programs and other facets of the department.

Murray said a Fire Prevention Committee was formed to generate some new ideas to promote increased attendance at the most recent Fire Department Open House.

“Committee member Firefighter/Intermediate Susan Marden suggested having the contest,” Murray said. “The selected winners would be given a ride to their school on a fire truck pending permission from their parents and the principal.”

He was in charge of securing approval for the contest from Fire Department and school officials. Other committee members ultimately set up the contest at the open house, judged the entries and notified the winners’ families.

Plenty of diversions were offered – displays, fire-safety exhibits, and opportunities to don fire fighting gear. Many visitors took advantage of an invitation to board a fire truck and take a close look. Children who attended were offered a supply of paper pages to color as a part of the contest.

Murray said the youngsters’ focus was on coloring to include a meeting place at home where they would go if they had an emergency and had to evacuate.

“A few days after the open house, we picked four winners,” Murray said. “A day care center and some of the public schools were represented. The winners were notified through their parents and each school’s principal agreed to allow the winning students to arrive at school on the fire truck.”

There were cheers all around when each of the winners were chauffeured into the parking area of his, or her, school aboard a fire truck. The winners were Madison Vigue, a student at Bedford Village Morning School; Anastasia Rose Craig, Riddle Brook School; Mayla Dumais, Memorial School; and Sam Meisner, Peter Woodbury School.

“I must say it was very rewarding to see the winners on their special day,” Murray said. “They got a ride to school in a fire truck. It’s something they’ll remember.”

Thanks to the contest committee: firefighters/Intermediates Eric Dubowik, Josh Cresswell, Eric Carrier and Susan Marden of Shifts 1-4, and photographer Madonna Lovett Repetta.

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