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Police & Fire

Fire-safety basics at festival's core

Sylvania Twp. plans event next month


Brad Mauk, left, Shane Hillard, and Chris Wedge gather around Sparky, the mechanical fire dog, at Fire Station No. 4. Firefighters will visit Sylvania schools during National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13.

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The Sylvania Township Fire Department has seen firsthand what educating children in the community can do to help promote fire-safety awareness.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski said that his granddaughter used what she learned from fire-safety techniques taught in the classroom. It was about 2 a.m. when Miranda Miller heard smoke detectors going off in the family home. She alerted the family and she went toward the established emergency meeting place.

"She did a great job," Chief Kowalski said. "She got an award from the state fire marshal's office."

In another incident, he said, a local student, a third or fourth grader, heard smoke detectors and alerted her parents, which allowed the family to get out of the house safely.

"It's another example of what a great job the guys do," he said. "A lot of times I know they think they're not making a difference. They've saved two families right there."

Because of the importance of teaching children about fire-safety techniques, the department is to hold a Fire Safety Festival on Oct. 13 at Fire Station No. 4, 8210 Sylvania Ave.

Sponsored by Vin Devers Autohaus of Sylvania, Sylvania Firefighters IAFF Local 2243, Target, Jet's Pizza, Kingston of Sylvania, Meijer, SMB Restoration Specialists, and Kroger, the two-hour event aims to teach students what to do in case of fire or natural disaster.

"The thing that we're seeing is, there are more and more tragedies, more natural disasters than you've ever seen before. The way that you help mitigate that situation is in teaching the community how to deal with emergencies," the department's Lt. Chad Morris said.

The best way to teach a community is to start by educating the population earlier, he said.

"One of the big trends that communities are moving to, to mitigate disaster situations, is to get curriculum into the schools," he said. The festival will teach safety basics overall.

However, Lieutenant Morris said, "There's just going to be a lot of fun activities -- great for the family to come out and enjoy."

The event is to be held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13. Officers from the fire department will visit Sylvania Schools during that time frame to teach students other fire-safety topics.

Local businesses donated about $2,500 to the cause.

"We got everything set up and we're just hoping for a good turnout," Lieutenant Morris said.

More information is available from the Sylvania Township Fire Department at 419-882-7676.

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