Fire prevention: “Everyone, every day” was the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Poster Contest sponsored by the Connecticut FAIR Plan. All Redding fourth and fifth grade students, along with students from 140 other communities, participated in the contest.
Students are allowed to make drawings or posters that convey the set theme. They are then sent to be judged at a local level, and the first-place winner moves on to be judged on a county level.
Peter Bernstein, Redding Fire and EMS Company #1 fire marshal and Georgetown’s deputy fire marshal, was at Redding Elementary School last month to present the first-, second- and third-place winners for the local portion of the contest.
Redding’s posters were judged by Joel Barlow High School art students, he said.
“The high school has been tremendous. I called Dr. [Thomas] McMorran [head of school] and he just jumped in, both feet first,” said Mr. Bernstein. “The art teacher lays all the posters out and the art students judge them.”
Students stop being taught about fire safety in fifth grade, so when the high school students judge the posters, it gets them involved with fire safety again, Mr. Bernstein said.
“And instead of me judging or the fire commissioners judging, the art teacher does the judging, so it helps the kids with their art,” said Mr. Bernstein.
Connor Keyes won first place for fourth grade entries and Will Wilson won first place for fifth grade entries. Both their posters will be entered into the county competition to be judged by the Danbury fire marshal’s office, said Mr. Bernstein.
The winners of the county contest go to the state final and are judged by Connecticut FAIR Plan judges, who pick one winner. That poster is used for the next fire prevention theme for Connecticut.
“It goes on calendars and folders and advertisements for fire safety for Connecticut,” he said.
Fourth grade student Thyrza Upson won second place and Brooke Squitieri won third.
Fifth grade student Grace MacDonald won second place and Schuyler Pritchard won third place.
Each winner received art supplies as a prize, Mr. Bernstein said.