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Firefighters Collaborate with HCPSS on “Adopt-A-School” Initiative

February 9th, 2018

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will work collaboratively on the new “Adopt-a-School” program linking each Howard County elementary school with its neighborhood fire station. The partnership will help students and staff at each school get to know their nearby first responders.

“Howard County is dedicated to working with our public schools, not only with this program but through the other risk reduction programs we teach in the classrooms,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We are invested in prevention and these educational programs will foster those learning behaviors for our young leaders.”

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, firefighters and paramedics will visit their designated elementary school at least four times each year, and will collaborate with school staff to provide training in life saving techniques, offer age-appropriate risk-reduction strategies, and discuss life safety programs.

“Our first responders serve a critical role in the community. This is just another way for them to partner with HCPSS and serve as positive role models for our children,” said HCPSS Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “This partnership with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services will encourage students to better understand fire and medical safety, and will strengthen the connections between families and fire and rescue first responders.”

“On countless occasions, we’ve witnessed kids having to take on the role of first responder,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “From calling 9-1-1 when a family member has had a medical emergency, to making sure their family is safely outside of a burning house, to checking smoke alarms, they are sometimes our first line of defense. I’m looking forward to strengthening our rock-solid partnership with HCPSS to ensure that every student has the tools they need to save a life.”

Throughout the school year, HCDFRS will visit schools with the mobile classroom known as the “Fire Safety House” to teach home fire and burn safety to school staff, parents, and community members, and will offer training in Hands-Only CPR, automated external defibrillator use, and Stop the Bleed. HCDFRS will also participate in at least one fire drill with each elementary school.

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, a combination system of nearly nine hundred career and volunteer providers operating from twelve stations across Howard County, maintains a safe environment and high quality of life by educating, protecting and serving citizens, members and visitors.

The Howard County Public School System’s Partnerships Office has united schools with more than 1,000 businesses and community organizations to enhance the educational experience of Howard County students. Partnerships benefit schools, businesses and the entire community by leveraging the resources of all participants. Partners may commit human or financial resources or other support.