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The Newbridge delegation presented their Ocala counterparts with the gift of an Irish Cross (being held by firefighter Ashley Andrews, who is kneeling in the front row of the photo).
Sesame Street Makes Fire Safety Fun
Let’s face…Sesame Street makes everything fun! Now, with the generous support of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), families can have fun while learning about fire safety with the Sesame Street Fire Safety Station Color and Learn coloring book. Each page in this free coloring book (available at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/publications/display.cfm?id=208) illustrates a particular fire safety message highlighted in the Sesame Street Fire Safety Station program. These messages include Plan and Practice Home Escape Plans; Smoke Alarms Warn About Fires; Hot Things Burn; Get Out and Stay Out!; Stop, Drop, and Roll; and Firefighters Rescue People and Put Out Fires. Let Big Bird, Cookie Monster and all of their friends help your child learn fire safety lessons that will last a lifetime.
Arson Awareness Week: Prevent Youth Firesetting
The theme for this year’s Arson Awareness Week (May 6-12) is Prevent Youth Firesetting. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and its partners will use the week to focus public attention on the importance of a collaborative effort with fire and emergency service departments, law enforcement, mental health, social services, schools, and juvenile justice to help reduce the occurrence of youth engaged with fire.
“Fire in the hands of children is devastating – regardless of a child's age or motive,” said Ernest Mitchell, Jr., U.S. Fire Administrator. “It is imperative that we do everything possible to prevent youth firesetting to protect the nation’s most valuable resource, our children.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fires started by children playing accounted for an average of 56,300 fires with associated losses of 110 civilian deaths, 880 civilian injuries, and $286 million in direct property damage per year between 2005 – 2009.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program report states that juveniles (persons under age 18) accounted for roughly 46% of arson arrests in 2005-2010. In 2010, 40% of arson arrests were juveniles with 47.6 % of those children under 16 years of age.
Texas Rangers Honor Fallen Firefighter
Shannon Stone was a Texas Rangers fan and a proud member of the Brownwood (TX) Fire Department. More importantly, he was a husband and a father. On July 7, 2011, Stone took his 6-year-old son, Cooper, to a see a Rangers game. What started out as a perfect father and son day at the stadium, turned into the most horrible of nightmares.
As the teams were warming up between innings of the game, Stone called out to Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton (Cooper’s favorite player) to throw him a ball. Hamilton obliged and tossed a ball in Stone’s direction. As he reached over the railing for the ball, Stone lost his balance and fell headfirst, 20 feet, to the concrete behind the outfield fence. Stone was conscious and asking about Cooper as EMS personnel arrived. The 39-year-old firefighter, however, died within the hour.
On April 5 of this year, the Texas Rangers unveiled a life-size bronze statue that depicts Stone and Cooper, wearing baseball caps, holding hands and looking at each other as if they’re talking about the game. The inscription reads: In memory of Shannon Stone and dedicated to all fans who love the game.
In creating the statue, sculptor Bruce Greene said it was important for him to depict the moment where fathers and sons are discussing the play-by-play after the game. He also said it was a priority to finish the statue before the start of the season.
Stone’s widow, Jenny, attended the unveiling with Cooper, the Texas Rangers team, Brownwood firefighters and Arlington emergency personnel. In a statement read at the ceremony, Stone’s family said the statue represents what he believed in – his son, family, friends and having fun.