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Lake County Fire Rescue honors child hero and teacher

RELEASE DATE: November 24, 2010

PAISLEY — Lake County Fire Rescue honored Dylan Smith of Altoona, and his teacher, Paula McKinney, during a small ceremony held Oct. 13 at Spring Creek Elementary School, located at 44440 Spring Creek Road, Paisley.

In 2008, McKinney was Smith’s second grade teacher and, as part of her lessons, had taken the initiative to hand out and review with her students information received from Fire Rescue on the importance of fire safety and what to do in case of an emergency. Two years later, on Aug. 23, when a fire began at Smith’s home, he was able to use the lessons learned in his second grade class to safely gather and remove all five of his siblings from the home, and get help from a neighbor for his mother who was still inside attempting to extinguish the fire.

The quick actions Smith took enabled his siblings to make it out of the home safely, and Smith’s mother was able to extinguish the fire shortly there-after.

Lake County Fire Rescue educates children on fire safety using tools such as the Fire Safety House, a mobile classroom that travels to local elementary schools. Inside, the children learn about the dangers of fire and what to do if a fire occurs in their home. The children then get the opportunity to apply the lessons learned as they experience a simulated live fire environment with “smoke” and heated doors.

The Fire Safety House was donated to the County nine years ago by the Mount Dora Kiwanis Club and the Mount Dora Community Trust for use by all fire departments within Lake County. Since then, more than 10,000 children have experienced the Fire Safety House simulation.

For more information about fire safety education, or to schedule the Fire Safety House, contact Kathy Edwards, Fire Lieutenant at (352) 343-9458 or e-mail kedwards@lakecountyfl.gov.

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Lake County media contact:
Kelly Lafollette
Information Outreach Director
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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