Students ride in fire truck to pizza party

Nine students from Coon Rapids elementary schools got to ride in a Coon Rapids Fire Department fire engine Nov. 20.

As winners of the department’s annual fire prevention poster contest, the students were picked up after school at their respective schools and transported by firefighters driving large fire rigs to Fire Station 1 for a pizza party.

Fire prevention poster contest winners from nine Coon Rapids elementary schools were treated to a pizza party by the Coon Rapids Fire Department at Fire Station 1 Nov. 20. Front row, left to right: Naba Abdulkaseem, Selena Yang, Leah Nummela, Mitch Dorbor, Lydia Bieurance. Back row, left to right: Fire Inspector Shannon Moen, Megan Schultze, Blessing Murray, Noel Atkinson, Jessie Jacobson and Fire Marshal Todd Williams.

Fire prevention poster contest winners from nine Coon Rapids elementary schools were treated to a pizza party by the Coon Rapids Fire Department at Fire Station 1 Nov. 20. Front row, left to right: Naba Abdulkaseem, Selena Yang, Leah Nummela, Mitch Dorbor, Lydia Bieurance. Back row, left to right: Fire Inspector Shannon Moen, Megan Schultze, Blessing Murray, Noel Atkinson, Jessie Jacobson and Fire Marshal Todd Williams.

The event also included games and a tour of the fire station.

“There was a great deal of enthusiasm,” said Coon Rapids Fire Marshal Todd Williams.

“Their teachers said the kids were antsy all day and very excited.”

Each year during Fire Prevention Week activities in early October, the fire department sponsors a poster contest for fourth- and fifth-graders in elementary schools in Coon Rapids.

The posters had to be about kitchen safety, which was the theme of this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, according to Williams.

There were over 1,000 entries, which fire department staff narrowed to five from each of the nine schools that submitted posters, Williams said.

A winner from each school as well as a citywide winner were selected by city of Coon Rapids staff during a chili feed, he said.

Blessing Murray, Sand Creek Elementary School fire prevention poster contest winner, cuts a slice of pizza at Fire Station 1 Nov. 20.

Blessing Murray, Sand Creek Elementary School fire prevention poster contest winner, cuts a slice of pizza at Fire Station 1 Nov. 20.

The winners from each school were:

• Naba Abdulkaseem, Adams Elementary School.

• Mitch Dorbor, Cross of Christ Lutheran School.

• Noel Atkinson, Eisenhower Elementary School.

• Lydia Bieurance, Epiphany School.

• Jessie Jacobson, Hamilton Elementary School.

• Megan Schultze, Hoover Elementary School.

• Leah Nummela, Mississippi Elementary School.

• Selana Yang, Morris Bye Elementary School.

• Blessing Murray, Sand Creek Elementary School.

Schultze’s poster was chosen as the citywide winner and now goes on to further competition.

According to Williams, her poster has been entered in the north suburban fire district contest, which took place Nov. 23, and in the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association competition, which will be in March 2014.

The fire department has put on the fire prevention week poster contest for 22 years and it always a generates a lot of entries, Williams said.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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