Eight students were picked up from their elementary schools the afternoon of Nov. 15 by Coon Rapids firefighters in large fire trucks.
Their destination was Coon Rapids Fire Station 1 for a pizza party, their reward for being their school winners in the Coon Rapids Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Week poster contest.
Fourth- and fifth-graders at elementary schools in Coon Rapids were invited by the fire department to create a poster focusing on the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week activities, “Have Two Ways Out.”
According to Fire Marshal Todd Williams, there were more than 900 entries from the eight schools that participated.
Entries from each school were narrowed down to five by the fire department staff and the entire city of Coon Rapids staff judged those, Williams said.
They picked a winner from each school, then a citywide winner who will advance to the North Suburban Mutual Aid Association poster contest to be judged for a chance to qualify for state competition, he said.
There are 29 fire departments in the northeast and northwest Twin Cities suburbs who are members of the North Suburban Mutual Aid Association, Williams said.
The main criteria for judging was how well the student emphasized the “Have Two Ways Out” theme of Fire Prevention Week, according to Williams.
Amelia Blomberg from Mississippi Elementary School was named the citywide winner.
“I’m really, really happy,” Blomberg said.
In her poster, Blomberg showed that it was important to have two ways out of a home, whether it is large or small, and also to have and check smoke detectors in the home.
Blomberg’s family, depicted in the poster – mother and father Senada and Bryan Olsen, older brother Bruno, 20, and her dog, Ginger – have two ways out, a bedroom window and front door, and an outside meeting place, the fire hydrant, she said.
In addition, there are smoke detectors in all room on all floors, which her mother checks monthly, Blomberg said.
The school winners were Blomberg, Mississippi; Seth Hanson, Cross of Christ; Sakhi Gautam, Eisenhower; Megan Cosman, Epiphany; Marson Lee, Hamilton; Arlisa Saybounly, Hoover; Alaina Hedlund, Morris Bye; and Sidney Wolfe, Sand Creek.
All won a $20 prize, a T-shirt and a trip on a fire truck to the pizza party.
The fire department, which has sponsored the poster contest for more than 20 years, served pizza from Carbone’s Pizzeria as well as drinks from the Fire Station 1 vending machine.
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com