Every year, Ontario fire departments nominate children, organizations, partners, individuals and the media whose actions merit a Fire Safety Award. The Ontario Fire Marshal selects and presents the Fire Marshal's Award for Excellence in Fire Safety to the group or individual who makes an exceptional contribution in promoting fire safety and public education in Ontario.
The Fire Marshal presents the well-deserved awards at the annual awards ceremony hosted by the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council and its proud sponsors. In 2011, three awards were presented to organizations and one award to an individual within the City of Toronto that were nominated by Toronto Fire Services.
Fire Chief William Stewart offered his congratulations to the award recipients for their dedication to fire safety, and for their support of our fire and life safety programs. "The organizations that were recognized have helped immensely to raise awareness of residential fire safety for the public. The individual recipient award demonstrates that public education is tremendously effective, and that young children often play an important role in educating their own families.
The Children's Aid Society of Toronto
Working hand in hand with Toronto Fire Services, the Children's Aid Society of Toronto is helping to ensure their client families are as safe as possible from the threat of fire. Toronto Fire Services provided training to the Children's Aid Society Staff, who then in turn provided information to their client families during home safety checks. As a result of attending one of these training sessions, one caseworker was able to convince a family to install smoke alarms in their home. A short time later there was a fire in the home, and the occupants were able to escape. The smoke alarms gave them the early warning they needed. The next day the client called the caseworker to thank the worker for saving their baby's life!
The partnership between the Children's Aid Society of Toronto and Toronto Fire Services is a great example of community service providers working together to keep their city safe.
Kretschmar, a Division of Premium Brands Operating Limited Partnership
Kretschmar, a family owned manufacturer of meat products, became involved with fire safety 12 years ago when Toronto Fire Services asked them for a contribution towards Fire Prevention Week barbecues. They generously offered their services and provided product to support our events. Over the years the partnership flourished, and they became our go-to company for products to support all our fire safety initiatives. Often the company will donate $1,000 worth of product, as well as more expensive Halal product to help meet the dietary needs of our diverse population. They have been involved in our annual Safety Awareness Week, and participated in our annual 'Risk Watch Safety Nights.'
It should also be noted that Kretschmar has always gracefully declined any offer of payment or public acknowledgement for their generous contributions.
TVO Kids became involved with Toronto Fire Services in 2009 to produce three educational fire safety videos about the dangers of using matches/lighters, Stop, Drop and Roll, and fire escape planning. These videos were aired during Fire Prevention Week 2009, and throughout 2010. Last year Toronto Fire Services was given 8 minutes of airtime to promote our fire safety messages to an estimated audience of 335, 000 children! TVO hosts also included interesting fire safety messages on their blogs, and encouraged the viewing audience to participate in fire safety activities.
For their efforts to help build a fire-safe generation, TVO Kids was awarded one of the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Awards.
Rachel O. of Toronto
Early one morning in May, 2010, six year old Rachel O. of Toronto awoke to the sound of explosions coming from the home next door. Rachel reacted very calmly for a child of her age, instructing her family members in what to do next. Rachel quickly, and safely, guided her family from their home. Rachel knew exactly what to do because planning and practising fire drills are a regular part of the curriculum at her school. Rachel credited her Grade One Teacher for teaching her what to do. She had also recently read 'Superdog Helps Firefighter Ed' in her guided reading group prior to the fire.
Rachel was presented with one of the Fire Marshal's Fire Safety Action Awards for putting her fire safety lessons to good use, and for assisting her family to exit their home to safety.