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Student named Fire Chief for a day

Lauren MacGill

Boston Pizza general manager Mike Rose, Lionel and Captain Jonathan Baumgart helped Aaron Schulz celebrate being fire chief for the day. (LAUREN MACGILL, Morden Times)

Boston Pizza general manager Mike Rose, Lionel and Captain Jonathan Baumgart helped Aaron Schulz celebrate being fire chief for the day. (LAUREN MACGILL, Morden Times)

MORDEN - 

A local student got the chance to act as Fire Chief as the result of a contest.

Morden Fire and Rescue and Boston Pizza partnered for the Fire Chief of the Day contest.

The contest uses the Travelling Sparky program, offered by the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner. “School aged kids take home Sparky and keep him overnight,” Morden Fire and Rescue Captain Jonathan Baumgart said. “They do a fire escape plan and that was their ballot to enter the contest.”

The winner of the contest got to be Fire Chief for a day. Firefighters came to the school to shoot targets with the fire hose, and the winner got to tour the fire hall and received a family meal at Boston Pizza to wrap up the day.

21 students from Minnewasta School entered the contest. The winner this year was grade one student Aaron Schulz.

“Our hope was to reiterate home fire safety and give kids a reason to discuss home fire safety with their family,” Baumgart said. “Give them a reason to draw a fire escape plan and discuss that. We’re hoping to put that discussion in the house  with the parents and we found that this was a good and easy way to do it, and in turn it gives a reward at the end.”

The program hadn’t been run for years due to lack of funding, but Boston Pizza stepped in to make sure the contest went forward. “Without them, there’s no way we could have done this,” Baumgart said. “We hope that Boston Pizza is willing to partner up with us again. I’d love to do it for the next 10 years or longer.”

Boston Pizza general manager Mike Rose said the restaurant was happy to partner with Morden Fire and Rescue. “My girls are in elementary school and that fire safety program definitely starts the conversation in our home,” he said.