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FFD preaches safety during Fire Prevention Week

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One might not think of rabbits when they think of fires, but "Be Rabbit Ready" is the theme for the 2012 Fire Prevention Week, all the same.

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Farmington fire marshal John Powers says the theme makes a certain amount of sense.

"Rabbits always have two ways out of every situation they're in. They're ready to escape. They're just very well aware of their surroundings," Powers said. "The theme encourages that same kind of mentality."

Having a fire escape plan is an important step, but it's one that falls behind some other basics, Powers said. Throughout Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, Farmington firefighters will talk about all aspects of fire safety, like encouraging families to take measures to reduce the risk of fire in the home in the first place, and to make sure all the smoke detectors in the home are working.

"And then, if you happen to have a fire, have a plan to get out, and have an established meeting place for your family," Powers said.

Farmington firefighters will start their Fire Prevention Week activities with a blood drive at Station 1 this Thursday. The blood drive will go from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Next week, they will head to Farmington's schools to talk to fourth grade students about fire prevention. Firefighters will bring trucks to the school buildings, and they'll give awards to the students at each building for the department's annual poster contest.

"We like to talk to the fourth graders, because the fourth graders are responsible enough to remind their parents about having fire safety plans," Powers said.

An open house will be held next Thursday, Oct. 11, from 5 to 9 p.m., at Fire Station 2. The event includes an extrication demonstration at 6 p.m., a demonstration by Farmington's K-9 police unit, a kitchen fire demonstration, and public safety exhibits. Additionally, guests can learn how to use fire extinguishers or try their aim with a fire hose.

This year, Powers added, the Farmington Fire Department is also conducting a food drive during the annual open house. Going by a theme of "Kids extinguish hunger one ride at a time," the food drive is geared to help collect food items for the Farmington Food Shelf. Each child who brings in food items will have his or her name entered into a drawing - one entry for each food item donated - and the child whose name is drawn will win a ride in a fire engine with the Farmington Fire Department.

It's the first time the fire department has added on a food drive, Powers said. He's hopeful for a decent response.

"We thought we'd do something extra instead of just having the open house," Powers said. "We wanted to have the event benefit the community as well."

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard started covering the Farmington community in June, 1994. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the Farmington American Legion Auxiliary Unit 189, and acts as the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
(651) 460-6606
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