Birch Island youth to receive Fire Safety Award

    TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - Zachary Pregent of Birch Island in Whitefish
River First Nation will receive a Fire Safety Action Award from the Fire
Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council at the Fire Safety Awards ceremony on
June 3, 2009 in Toronto. The annual ceremony recognizes outstanding
contributions to fire protection and prevention in Ontario.
    One early morning in April 2008, 12-year-old Zachary and his 7-year-old
sister Zena, were sleeping in their mother's bedroom and awoke to the smell of
smoke. Unable to get out any other way, Zachary escaped from the home through
the bedroom window. Once on the ground, he found a ladder and positioned it
under the bedroom window. Carefully climbing up the ladder to the window, he
assisted his younger sister out of the burning home to safety.
    "Zachary's selfless action in this situation demonstrates the information
he learned from Whitefish River First Nation Fire Department's fire safety
lessons at his school," said Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke. "The partnership
between the fire department and the school focuses on giving children the
confidence to act with their fire safety skills and the importance of keeping
each other safe from harm. When the fire department arrived, the family home
was completely engulfed in flames. Zachary truly put these teachings to good
use and saved his sister's life."
    Each year Fire Safety Action Awards are awarded to young children and
teenagers who have actively demonstrated fire safety behaviours they have
learned. Fire departments throughout the province nominated individuals and
organizations for this year's awards; 20 recipients were selected. The
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci and
Fire Marshal Burke will present the awards at a luncheon ceremony at the
Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto.

For further information:

For further information: Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal,
(416) 325-3138; Janice Johnstone, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3151

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