FIRE CHIEF FOR A DAY
Westminster Elementary student Siarah Gerard (middle) was chosen as this year’s Fire Chief for A Day after winning the Lethbridge Fire Department’s poster colouring contest to mark Fire Prevention Week. Gerard's poster won out over about 3,000 other entries in this year’s contest.
Westminster Elementary School student Siarah Gerard has been appointed Fire Chief for A Day after winning the Lethbridge Fire Department’s annual Fire Prevention Week poster contest.
Gerard was presented with her own firefighter’s uniform and special chief’s hat at a brief ceremony in her classroom on Thursday morning.
“On Saturday I will be picking up Siarah and her family at her home in a firetruck,” explained fire prevention officer Troy Hicks, who helps run the poster contest for the Lethbridge Fire Department. “I take them on a drive through the city and then take them to one of the fire stations for a station tour. And then we go for lunch, and we get to sit down and talk. Anything Siarah wants; she is the boss for the day and she gets to tell me what to do.”
“It feels good (to be Chief for A Day),” the soft-spoken Gerard said after receiving the honour. “Firefighters save people.”
And that’s the same message he and his fellow firefighters want to get out there to all kids in the city, said Hicks: that firefighters save people and kids shouldn’t be afraid if they come to their home to help.
“Fire alarms can be scary to kids,” Hicks acknowledged. “We notice that every time we do fire drills. So we get out and do presentations to the schools all the time, and I think it is really good to get them excited and help them understand what the noises are. And we teach them not to be afraid of firefighters. A lot of kids are scared when they see our guys in uniform or when they see us in our bunker gear with our masks and stuff on. So I am going to make sure Siarah on Saturday sees us wearing our gear, and it will be one less person who is scared.”
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