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Graduation Life Safety Kits

Countryside Fire District handouts Graduation Life Safety Kits to the Vernon Hills High School Class of 2012 following their graduation rehearsal this week.

Countryside Fire District handouts Graduation Life Safety Kits to the Vernon Hills High School Class of 2012 following their graduation rehearsal this week.

Countryside Fire Protection District provided Graduation Life Safety Kits to the Vernon Hills High School Class of 2012. “As seniors graduate and go on to college, we want them to continue practicing the fire safety behaviors we have taught them since kindergarten. We want them to be safe while they are at their new home away from home!” said Fire Chief Jeff Steingart. According to Center for Campus Fire Safety, at least 129 college students have died in student housing fires in the United States since January of 2000. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, each year in the United States there are an estimated 150 fires in fraternity and sorority houses and 80% of the fire fatalities occur in off-campus housing.

“I believe that part of the issue with fire safety awareness on college campuses may be from a lack of consciousness and false belief that anything could ever happen to them” stated Tony Rodkey, Countryside Fire Public Education Coordinator. There is a large push to provide information about fire safety issues on college campuses across the United States. Students and parents often assume that every room in an on-campus student residence is covered by an automatic sprinkler system, while others assume their college students have been educated about fire prevention. Prospective students and parents may not know what questions or even think to ask school administrators about the fire safety measures they have in place when they visit campuses.

Countryside Fire Protection District in partnership with Toshiba Medical Research Institute, DaVita Village Health, Advocate Condell Medical Center, Walgreens and Wal-Mart is providing a fire and life safety program that will help remind our students of being fire safe while away at school. “We want them to make a lifestyle change that will stay with them forever! Fires are dangerous whatever age you are and we want to raise awareness for everyone” Steingart said.

The graduation gift has many items to make a student think about fire and life safety while they are away at school. The package includes a backpack provided by Toshiba Medical Research Institute to hold a smoke alarm, flameless candle, and band aid dispenser, N95 mask, hand sanitizer, tissue pack, FEMA Get Out Stay Alive brochure, a College Housing Safety Checklist and other items that will promote safety. The young adults received their kits following the graduation rehearsal on May 30th.

Graduates are encouraged to participate in the Campus Firewatch Media Project. This project was launched for high school seniors and college students across the nation to become engaged in learning and share more about fire safety. Students who share their experience and get their story published are awarded a $500 stipend. For more information go to www.countrysidefire.com.

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