The iconic Plaza at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan filled with children taking a very important oath on Tuesday morning, an oath designed to help save lives.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro swore-in more than 300 New York City school children with the Junior Firefighter and EMT Pledge, which is designed to remind children to practice fire safety and share it with their family and friends.
“Education for fire prevention is the best way to keep you, your family and your home safe,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “The free fire safety education FDNY is able to provide to New Yorkers thanks to the FDNY Foundation helps us save lives each and every day. Every year, during Fire Prevention Week we are able to further share this essential information with New Yorkers through ongoing support from partners like Tishman Speyer.”
“This is a remarkable event during a special year for the FDNY,” said FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard. “As we mark our 150th anniversary, we are proud to be able to say there are fewer fire deaths now than in the history of the Department and we know that can only continue with the education of our youngest residents, through events like this one and the critical work of our Fire Safety Education Unit.”
The event took place on Tues., Oct. 6 and was a part of the weeklong celebration of National Fire Prevention Week 2015. Children from across New York City participated by taking the oath while wearing red junior fire helmets, and learning critical fire safety lessons from members of the Foundation-funded Fire Safety Education Unit, as well as the Department’s fire and life safety mascots, Hot Dog and Siren.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our kids to explore Manhattan and to learn more about the Fire Department,” said Andreu Amengual, a teacher who brought his students from PS 210 in Manhattan. “They’re learning how firefighters help our communities, what they do and, they’re learning strategies, in case of an emergency, what to look for and what to do.”
“Our class was chosen to come in for this experience, to be a part of this special event for fire prevention week,” said Kathleen Morley, a teacher from PS 36 in the Bronx. “We’re so happy to be able to give our students a different understanding of fire safety, a hands-on lesson, and also to show them what our firefighters do for this great city.”
Additionally, students had the opportunity to interact with firefighters and fire apparatus, including the FDNY’s 150th anniversary truck and ambulance. They also viewed safety demonstrations by FDNY members.
“We love this event and the ability to reach all of these children with our fire safety messages,” said Lieutenant Anthony Mancuso, Director of Fire Safety Education. “These are life-saving tips and hands-on lessons that can really make a difference in the lives of these children and our communities.”
“We are so proud of the students who were sworn-in today and we are grateful for another opportunity to support the FDNY as it marks Fire Prevention Week,” said FDNY Foundation Board Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “We know these lessons are saving lives. We know educating these young people – who take these fire safety messages home with them – is preventing fires and reducing fire deaths across our city.”
Fire Commissioner Nigro noted this was a record year for the Department, thanks in large part to expansive educational initiatives.
“In 150 years, we had never once had a month in our city where no one was lost to fire. That is, until this year,” said Commissioner Nigro. “This past June was the first time in the history of the Department that a month went by without a single loss of life. This achievement is a testament to the outstanding performance by our Firefighters, Paramedics and EMTs to quickly respond to fires and treat the injured, as well as the extensive work by our Fire Safety Education Unit to educate the public on ways to prevent fires and remain fire safe.”
The FDNY is hosting events across the city for Fire Prevention Week. Click here to attend a fire safety program near you.
"This is an amazing opportunity for our kids to explore Manhattan and to learn more about the Fire Department. They're learning how firefighters help our communities, what they do and, they're learning strategies, in case of an emergency, what to look for and what to do."