The national Fire Prevention Week was October 7-13 and numerous events were held in Dysart during the week. Home fires put thousands of Americans in harm's way each year and fire prevention and safety is taught to help eliminate these tragedies.
Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire, which did most of its damage on October 9, 1871, killing 250 people, leaving 100,000 people homeless, and destroying over 14,700 structures. The fire had such a lasting effect on those impacted that fire safety became of great importance to both firefighters and those in public office.
Forty years after the fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America decided that the Great Chicago Fire should be commemorated by teaching the public about fire safety and prevention. Fire Prevention Week has been nationally observed since 1922, after President Woodrow Wilson issued the first Fire Prevention Week proclamation.
Above, children at The Playhouse Day Care Center enjoy a visit from John Schneider and Cale Petersen of the Dysart Fire Department. Owner Rose Brunssen (kneeling in front) and employee Serena Sailsbury (at back) are also pictured. The children demonstrated how to stop, drop and roll and also sang a song about fire safety for the firemen. For more photos of Fire Prevention Week, turn to page 2 of this issue.
Each year there is a new theme about fire prevention and safety. The theme for 2012 was "Have 2 Ways Out!" and the Dysart Fire Department held a special event, called "Operation EDITH", on the evening of October 9th. During the event, the firemen helped families plan escape routes, informed about the importance of testing smoke alarms, checking fire extinguishers, and making sure all family members know where the fire extinguishers are located in the home and how to use them in the case of an emergency.
Throughout the day on October 9th, various groups of children visited the fire station, including groups from the Raggedy Ann and Andy Pre-school, Special Place Kids, and third graders from Dysart-Geneseo Elementary School. The third graders also received fire truck rides. Firemen visited The Playhouse Day Care Center to teach the children the basics, such as stop, drop and roll. Fire drills were held at all local schools.
The Dysart Fire Department provided quality fire prevention and safety education to the community. Fire Prevention Week is also meant to honor the fire fighters, including the Dysart community's local heroes.
Fire Prevention Week in 2013 will be held October 6-12. More information regarding Fire Prevention Week can be found at www.firepreventionweek.org.