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Volunteer firefighters go back to school

Group teaches kids about fire prevention and holds colouring contest

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Oct 31/01) - The Rankin Inlet volunteer fire department is becoming more pro-active in the community when it comes to preventing fires.

NNSL photo

Rankin Inlet's acting fire Chief Ambrose Karlik, left, and volunteer firefighter Jim Papak take a closer look at Grade 5 student Andre Aokaut's Fire Prevention Week project. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Local volunteer firefighters started paying visits to local schools earlier this month for the first time in the department's history. The Rankin firefighters also solicited prize donations to hold a contest to celebrate national Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 5-12.

Acting Rankin Inlet fire Chief Ambrose Karlik says it's time for local firefighters to start educating kids at a younger age.

"The earlier kids become aware and start to learn about fire prevention, the better," says Karlik.

"That's the whole idea of Fire Prevention Week, to make people more aware of fire hazards and what to do about them."

Karlik, who is also an ambulance attendant in Rankin, says he's excited about the colouring contest, and hopes it becomes popular.

"This is only our first year, but it's not going too bad. Students at Leo Ussak elementary and Maani Ulujuk middle school are taking part by drawing and colouring pictures about fire prevention. "It helps them learn about fire prevention and gives them a chance to win prizes too."

A team of four volunteer firefighters will judge the drawings when they're handed in this week. The winners will be announced next month (November).

The prizes include pens, T-shirts and carrying bags.

"We went to the community for prize donations for the contest.

"We'd like to thank Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Nunavut Planning Commission for coming through with the prizes for us."