Truck Carries Loads of Advice On Fire Prevention

Truck Carries Loads of Advice On Fire Prevention

Elk Grove, Calif., Fire Protection Dist.

Missing no bets to promote Fire Prevention Week, the Clark County, Nev., Fire Department combines the attractions of Las Vegas showgirl Loretta Young and the Tropicana's message board. Miss Young is this year's Nevada State Fire Prevention Queen.Mrs. Sparky is the newest addition to the Sparky program of the La Mesa, Calif., Fire Department. The Ladies Auxiliary suggested this innovation for Fire Prevention Week activities and provided the costume. Mrs. Sparky was introduced to the public last year at a parade of some 25 La Mesa area fire department units that was followed by an open house at the LMFD headquarters. From left in the photo are Fire Marshal T. William Orsborn; Miss La Mesa 1969, Patty Briggs; Sparky, Fireman Bill Sage; and Mrs. Sparky, Mrs. Mike Morris of the LMFD Ladies Auxiliary

The fire prevention pickup truck of the Elk Grove, Calif., Fire Protection District does more than routine duty, it also is a mobile advertising medium for fire safety. Seasonal fire prevention slogans are displayed in the tailboard.

During the Christmas season, “Happy Holidays, Keep Them Safe From Fire” was on the tailboard and for the summer fire season, “Stamp Out Grass Fires.” Others I have in mind are “Do You Have Fire Drills?” and “Don’t Make an Ash of Yourself by Smoking in Bed.”

Only the available space and your imagination limit the number of slogans or messages that can be devised. However, we find that short messages that are easy to read at a glance are the most effective.

The tailboard slogan idea was enthusiastically received when I presented it to a meeting of the Sacramento Valley Fire Prevention Officers. One battalion chief pointed out that whenever my truck was on the road, in my district or some other district, it conveyed a fire prevention message that was universally valuable. Since most fire department utility vehicles are on the road more than engine and truck companies, they can do the most to keep the public conscious of fire safety.

This type of mobile message can be used effectively at other levels. Next time you follow a bus or taxi with rear advertising, think how our fire safety messages would look on that vehicle and you can visualize the possibilities of this form of public advertising. A sign is larger and therefore more easily read than a bumper sticker.

The United States Forest Service has fire prevention posters that are almost tailboard size, and they are available from the USFS. The California Division of Forestry has been most helpful in supplying me with posters which I plan to use on the tailboard of utility trucks and on chiefs’ cars in the summer. Unfortunately, they deteriorate too quickly in wet weather.

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