Junior Fire Marshal Program To Stress independence

Junior Fire Marshal Program To Stress independence

Honorary chiefs of the Memphis Fire Department, John L. Smith, left, and Mary McCormack, receive their badges from Memphis Director of Fire James Smith. The presentation was made during the Fire Department Instructors Conference in March. Smith is a senior instructor at the Delaware State Fire School and McCormack is conference coordinator for the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.The George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award is presented to Captain Matthew Jackson of the Charleston, W. Va., Fire Department by Jim Yvorra of the Robert J. Brady Company. Jackson is an instructor for West Virginia State Fire College, West Virginia State University and several regional fire schools.

The Junior Fire Marshal program, with its trademark red helmet, has been revised to improve its impact, according to Kevin Marton of The Hartford Insurance Group, the program sponsor.

Based on the theme, “Four Steps to Safety,” the program’s emphasis is on teaching children about fire prevention and how to think, not panic, should a fire occur. It was developed in conjunction with Lifetime Learning Systems, an educational consultant company, which said that one of its goals was to teach children in kindergarten to third grade not to have to depend on adults for guidance in an emergency.

The four lessons taught via filmstrip, cassette, and worksheets feature Jenny and Johnny Hartford, cartoon characters who demonstrate the four steps to safety in a story format: Don’t play with matches, crawl under smoke, stop, drop and roll to extinguish a clothing fire, and practice home fire drills with family members.

The old fire marshal program, which used semiannual magazines as instruction aids for teachers, is replaced by the learning kit. Its estimated shelf life is three years, the length of time it is expected to remain intact. There are two kits, one for kindergarten and first graders, and another for second and third graders. They are available from independent insurance agents, fire departments and civic groups at a cost of $6.95.

The fire marshal program is in its 35th year, and reaches about 2.5 million school children annually, according to The Hartford. A Junior Fire Marshal Gold Medal is awarded annually to the child who has best demonstrated the lessons of the program.

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