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Fire Safety Taught With Humor

POSTED October 27, 2009 3:45 p.m.

A game show stage, spotlights, questions displayed on a video screen, an eager contestant, and a host who asked, “Is that your final answer?” were the delivery method for a recent fire safety message for Cloverland Elementary School students.

Members of the Oakdale Fire Department did their own version of the game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” called “Fire Safety Millionaire” to entertain and educate the students about fire safety. The fire department visits each elementary school annually to deliver the message about personal and fire safety, providing the students with presentations in the form of skits to help them remember what to do and what to avoid.

Engineer John Crenshaw served as the game show host “Beavis Philbin,” a cousin of Regis Philbin, while contestant “Donny Bo Jangles,” an ant farmer from Oakdale, was played by firefighter Steve Sawyer.

Sporting a mullet and clad in overalls with just one strap buckled, a sleeveless T-shirt and work boots, “Donny Bo” mulled over the questions with out-loud hillbilly humor and excitedly hollered and ran around when he got the questions right.

The questions started out easy and got harder as contestant Donny Bo advanced in the game. The first question asked what number should be called to get 911.

Audience participation and using a lifeline (a.k.a. phoning a friend) were the methods that Donny Bo used to figure out the answers. At one point, with a question about how to take care of a smoke alarm, he called on fifth grade teacher Debbie Grigorica to come forward to take the contestant’s chair and help him answer the question.

He even did a stop, drop, and roll demonstration when he answered a question about what to do if you catch on fire.

Short video clips of Cloverland students who acted out scenarios provided the correct answers to the questions. The assembled students cheered, shouted helpful answers, and laughed at Donny Bo’s on stage antics. Of course, Donny Bo got all the questions right.

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