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West Hartford Students Participate in National Junior Fire Marshal Day

Students at Morley Elementary School in West Hartford participate in National Junior Fire Marshal Day. Courtesy photo

On Oct. 6, 800 West Hartford students, remote learning students as well as a classroom from Morley Elementary School, joined 40,000 kids across more than 150 U.S. cities to learn how to escape a home fire and other life-saving fire safety lessons as part of The Hartford’s live, virtual National Junior Fire Marshal Day event.

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The Hartford, which has provided fire-safety education to more than 111 million children since 1947, created a live, virtual fire-safety event to address the critical lack of in-person, fire-safety education available to elementary school students in 2020.

On Oct. 6, more than 40,000 kindergarten-through-third-grade students in more than 150 cities across the country participated in the live-stream event available in both classroom and remote-learning environments.

A class of students who were in class at Morley Elementary School, as well as students in West Hartford’s remote learning experience for elementary schools, headed by Principal Kerry Jones, participated.

“The pandemic has made it difficult for firefighters to reach children with the valuable lessons they would typically receive in school this time of year,” said The Hartford’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Kathy Bromage. “We have partnered with firefighters for more than 70 years to help deliver essential fire-safety education in the classroom. Although we are not able to be together in-person this year, the Junior Fire Marshal Day program allows thousands of children to be together virtually and, in a short time, learn the life-saving information they need to help keep themselves and their families safe.”

Led by a teacher and a firefighter, the 30-minute event guided students through important fire safety lessons like:

  • Matches and lighters are for grown-ups;
  • Smoke alarms are important;
  • Create and practice your escape plan; and
  • Establish your outside meeting place.

The event also featured a smoke and escape plan demonstration in The Hartford’s fire safety trailer and a video congratulations from firefighters around the country, recognizing them for their achievement. The event culminated in students earning the title of “Junior Fire Marshal” and becoming officially deputized.

Savannah, Ga., Fire Chief Derik Minard said, “This global health crisis has created a need for more virtual-based education, but not all departments are equipped to adapt to that shift. Home fires are still a big concern for departments around the country. With The Hartford hosting this event, lifesaving education is reaching our children just as we are about to enter the holiday season, when we tend to see a spike in home fires.”

Parents and educators nationwide are able to access a replay of the event through the end of October by visiting https://www.juniorfiremarshal.com/register.

The History of the Junior Fire Marshal Program

The Junior Fire Marshal program was started in 1947 by an employee of The Hartford, making it one of the country’s oldest corporate-sponsored public education programs. Since the program’s inception, The Hartford has deputized more than 111 million Junior Fire Marshals.

The company’s signature red fire helmets have been displayed proudly by generations of children who have learned the basics of fire safety and prevention through this innovative and educational program. The program teaches lifesaving lessons such as Matches and Lighters are for Grown-ups and Create and Practice Your Escape Plan. These lessons, along with other fun, engaging and educational activities, help parents and teachers have meaningful and vital fire-safety conversations with children.

Over the years, celebrities such as Mariano Rivera, Ron Howard, Dick Van Dyke, Jack Benny, Jimmy Dean, Captain Kangaroo, Carol Channing, Red Skelton, Johnny Carson, Robert Young, Henry “the Fonz” Winkler and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have helped The Hartford recognize children who participated in the Junior Fire Marshal program.

Recently, The Hartford committed to educating an additional 3.5 million students in kindergarten through third grade and donating more than $3 million to school districts and fire departments in the 150 U.S. cities with the highest risk of home fires according to The Hartford’s Home Fire Index. For more information about The Hartford’s Home Fire Index and Junior Fire Marshal program, visit www.juniorfiremarshal.com.

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