Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department awarded public education grant

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department was awarded a fire prevention and public education grant on June 24.

The grant, awarded by the Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officer Association, totals $500 and is given annually to fire departments in good standing with the association based on their plans for public fire safety education. This year, Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department and Aylmer Fire Department were the recipients of the grant.

Mike Vadlja, fire prevention officer with Huntsville/Lake of Bays, says that the department plans to use the funds to expand a door-to-door education program providing literature and education to the public, which was halted through the pandemic.

“With things opening up, we can see the program picking up again, and, you know, we can provide literature, public education, and materials to the public to enhance our safety at home, (regarding) smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, home escape planning, things like that. Those are the three main things we’ll be targeting with our door-to-door.”

Vadlja says that these three areas of education are paramount in improving public safety.

“We just want to educate people, right? Hopefully we can check their alarms, and make sure that (they) are working because that's so important nowadays. (You have) less than two minutes to get out if you have a fire in your home, and now more than ever home escape planning and smoke alarms are so important.”

Beyond public education, Vadlja says that grant funding can assist with providing the public with the materials they need to ensure safety.

“With our sprinkler program, we do provide alarms for people with financial hardship and consumers that require them, so we will provide them free of charge. And we also carry alarms in our trucks. So if the guys are at a call, and there's not enough protection, they can leave a loaner alarm and then we follow up later.”


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