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Fire prevention month off to a strong start

Firefighters were at Mustang Valley Elementary for the Fire Prevention Month message performance. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm
and Jayson Knight

Entertaining with a purpose.

The task may better fit actors making a living by being on screens around the country, but to
some firefighters around Mustang it takes on a new meaning.

October is Fire Prevention Month, where fire departments across the country emphasize safety
through a message issued by the National Fire Protection Association.

Mustang’s Fire Department takes it to a whole different level, where they go to each
elementary school in the Mustang Public Schools District and perform a skit revolving around
the theme for each year.

For Mustang, that means a volunteered group of firefighters form a large skit and perform it for
the students on Sept. 29 at 9am and 1pm at the MEC, Oct. 4 at 9am and 10:30am at Riverwood,
Oct. 5 from 9am and 10:30am Mustang Elementary, Oct. 6 at 9am and 10:30am at Mustang
Valley, Oct. 9 at 9am and 10:30am at Lakehoma Elementary, Oct. 10 at 9am and 10:30am at
Centennial, Oct. 18 at 9am and 10:30am at Prairieview, Oct. 19 at 9am and 10:30am at Trails
and Oct. 20 at 9am and 10:30am at Creek.

Eric Halter, the Fire Marshal for the Mustang Fire Department, indicated the Fire Prevention
Month process started after an old Chicago fire, and has been a continuous emphasis of the
NFPA since then.

“They come out with a message every year, and then that’s what we build our show off of,”
Halter said. “And they build their messages off of the data they get for the year (including)
what’s trending nationally.”

Halter, one of the participating members of the annual skits, said this year’s theme is cooking
safety. That is the number one cause of fires at home.

“We love it,” Halter said. “We’ve had a pretty core group there who get a good kick out of it.
We like going to the kids and teaching them and just having a good time at schools, getting out
there (and) getting our face in front of them and developing that relationship with the kids.”

MFD shows aren’t just limited to public schools. The Mustang Fire Department will be doing a
homeschool show at the Mustang Community Center on Oct. 25 in the Great Room/Banquet

Halter emphasized the importance of getting the information out to the kids, while the fire
department has added the homeschool show in recent years for that purpose.

“It’s the same,” Halter said. “We do the whole puppets, the song and dance, the whole nine
(yards), but we’re doing it at the Community Center for homeschool kids that don’t get the fire
prevention show (like the children in public schools).”

The Mustang Fire Department also partners with the schools and has some donors. They do a
Facebook challenge, where the students can take a picture checking their smoke detectors and
post it on the Mustang Fire Department Facebook page to be entered into a drawing for the fire
department to deliver a pizza by fire truck.

There is also a coloring contest, with the submissions due by Oct. 31. Winners for the three age
group categories can win pizza hut gift cards.

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