Woodcrest students win ride to school in fire truck

Three Woodcrest Elementary Spanish Immersion students traveled to school in style Dec. 6: in a big red fire truck.

After winning a poster contest put on by the Fridley Fire Department, Lotus Yang and two of her closest friends were offered the a ride of a lifetime and the chance to impress all of their friends at the bus stop.

Lotus Yang, middle, stands beside best friends Chloe Solorzano, left, and Addison Stephani, right. The three arrived at Woodcrest Spanish Immersion School in style. Photo by Olivia Koester

Lotus Yang, middle, stands beside best friends Chloe Solorzano, left, and Addison Stephani, right. The three arrived at Woodcrest Spanish Immersion School in style. Photo by Olivia Koester

“I drew this picture of how to be safe when there’s a fire,” Lotus said of her winning entry.

The poster depicts Lotus and her mother in the kitchen, surrounded by illustrations and captions about what people should do to prevent flames and how they should react if they see them.

After a hiatus, the fire department revived its annual poster contest this year.

The department chose a fourth-grade winner at each of the schools in its coverage area, offering rides to school for winners and their friends for the first time in Capt. Kim Herrmann’s memory.

The fire department planned to pick up Lotus and friends Chloe Solorzano and Addison Stephani at the Fridley Wal-Mart at 8:45 a.m. Dec. 6.

Unfortunately, a water flow alarm sounded at a local business at 8:30 a.m., and the department had to rush over there.

“That always comes first,” Herrmann said of emergency calls.

Arriving more than 20 minutes later than anticipated, the girls were late to school and because everyone was already in class, no one saw their grand entrance.

Remembering back to his childhood, “it’s all about your friends seeing you,” Herrmann said. So, he got permission to try again with the girls on Dec. 10, allowing Lotus to bring along Chloe, Addison and two additional friends.

Despite an uneventful reception, all three girls were grinning ear-to-ear when they hopped off of the fire engine.

“That was awesome!” they said, already talking about what their second ride would be like.

Olivia Koester is at olivia.koester@ecm-inc.com

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