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Facilities News

Fire Safety “Invests” with the Smokey Bear Program on Earth Day

Posted in: Fire Safety Updates

Photo of Bradford School Principal putting out an outdoor fire during University Facilities' annual Earth Day program on April 26, 2022
Bradford School Principal, Ms. Frances Aboushi, demonstrates how to safely extinguish an outdoor fire.

On April 26, 2022, University Facilities hosted its annual Earth Day event for approximately 400 K-5 students from Bradford Elementary School in Montclair Township- our largest audience in the history of this event.  After a two-year pandemic hiatus, division staff excitedly welcomed the students back to the campus amphitheater, promoting the current Earth Day theme “Invest in our Planet.”

Investing in our planet includes investing in safety. The growing number of wildfire reports has been of particular concern to fire safety professionals. University Facilities’ Fire Safety team collaborated with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) and the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention Program to produce “Campfire Stories” and bring Smokey Bear to Montclair State University.

Through this activity, participants learned the importance of outdoor fire safety, wildlife and natural resource protection, and the environmental impact of wildland fires. Fire Safety staff, student workers, and NJFFS representatives Todd Sacchiero, Charles Tempe, and Mike Clark demonstrated the detrimental effects that unattended campfires cause to wildlife and our natural resources. Students and teachers also learned about the simple preventive things we can do to enjoy those fireside S’mores during camping and other outdoor activities. The audience was especially delighted to see Bradford’s principal, Ms. Frances Aboushi, gamely don fire safety gear and extinguish a blaze herself.

As a backdrop, the NJFFS was also able to present a compelling visual display of fire safety equipment, including trucks, PPE, and signage. Fire Safety staff are excited at the establishment of the working relationship established with this group, which is an agency within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. We look forward to engaging in future discussions with them about other fire and life safety programming opportunities that can benefit our campus.