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Business, fire departments team up to educate youth on fire safety


NEW GLASGOW – Firefighter Arthur Tate had a captive audience as he talked about the resources at the disposal of the New Glasgow Fire Department.

New Glasgow Academy principal Allison Wilson, left, and Pamela Swaine of A.A. Munro Insurance look on as they pass a smoke alarm to Gr. 2 student Devin MacDonald. The insurance company, along with the New Glasgow Fire Department, distributed dozens of smoke alarms to students at the school as part of Fire Prevention Week activities. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS

“We even have a 75-foot ladder,” said Tate.

The grade 1 and 2 classes thought about just how high that really was and if it was high enough to reach to their windows.

“Is that as high as Mount Everest?” one girl asked, not knowing that the highest mountain on Earth is 28,954 higher than that ladder.

While it may be difficult to convey certain aspects of the job to these youth, they fully understood the importance of a smoke detector in their homes.

The initiative, a partnership between local fire departments across Nova Scotia and A. A. Munro Insurance that began three years ago, aims to give out hundreds of smoke detectors to Grade 2 students. It’s not an arbitrary age or grade to give out the life-saving devices.

“These smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years or so,” said John Desmond of the New Glasgow Fire Department. “So when these kids graduate and head to university, they’ll hopefully get a new one to take with them.”

The idea of handing out smoke detectors to youth in the community came from Tilda Raney-Fleming, who works at the New Glasgow office. According to A.A. Munro, it is about community outreach and a preventative measure to protect youth from residential fire.

The insurance company noted that it’s well worth the money spent and the info given to the children helps to educate them about fire safety.

According to A.A. Munro, approximately 1,500 smoke detectors will be given out to youth in Nova Scotia this year.

The New Glasgow Fire Department will host an open house this Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. along Dalhousie Street. About 22 of the counties fire departments have been invited to bring their trucks, pumpers and rescue vehicles for all to see. The 75-foot ladder will also be on display.

The event and giving of smoke alarms fits the national theme for Fire Prevention Week 2014 in Canada, ‘Working smoke alarms save lives – test yours every month.’

john.brannen@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn 

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