Firefighting Guest Blogger Health and Wellness News and Events

Meet Sparkles the Fire Dog

This is Fire Prevention Week. One of the most important audiences for fire prevention week is children. Susan Maguire is a literacy expert that blogs about information and activities for you to use with your child that will foster early literacy development and a love for books. I know she is an expert because Susan is my mother-in-law. She is nurturing a love of reading and fascination with language in my children (ages 2 and 4). One of Michael’s, age 4, favorite games right now is rhyming words.

For Fire Prevention Week Susan interviewed children’s author Dayna Hilton. I want to share Susan’s post with Everyday EMS Tips readers who are helping children learn about fire prevention this week with station tours, presentations, and book readings. Susan writes:

October is Fire Safety Month and I want to introduce you to Dayna Hilton, a Firefighter and Fire Safety Educator and author and her Fire Safety dog, Sparkles. Sprout is also in the picture with Dayna and Sparkles. Sprout is another fire safety dog in training.

Dayna currently serves on the Arkansas Fire Prevention Commission as a Deputy Fire Marshall for the state of Arkansas and on several national committees. Sparkles and Dayna met in 2003 through the Dalmatian Assistance League of Tulsa. Together they help teach children fire safety in elementary schools and at other venues. “Sparkles has given of herself unselfishly, showing young children how to “crawl low” to escape from fire”, says Dayna. Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog Childrens Book

Dayna wants to remind you of the following fire prevention basics that are important for you to teach your children

  • Install a working smoke alarm and test it once a month and replace the batteries twice a year
  • Choose a meeting place for your family to meet outside of your home in case of fire – it can be a tree, a fence, a mailbox.
  • Teach your children that when they hear the smoke alarm, it is telling them to “Get out! Get out!. Get low to the ground (the air is cleaner and cooler there) and crawl low on your hands and knees and go to your meeting place.
  • Make an escape map with your family and practice your home escape drill at least 2 times a year

Here is Sparkles, the fire safety dog. She is reading “her” book written by Dayna. As children read the book they learn valuable fire safety tips enabling them and their families to keep safe. These tips include recognizing the firefighter as a helper and a friend, knowing the sound and purpose of a smoke alarm, learning how to crawl low under smoke, and understanding the importance of practicing a home fire drill using an escape map. “Sparkles and I want everyone to be safe!” states Dayna. You can see Sparkles on PBS KIDS Sprout on Demand – PBS KIDS Sprout Website -sharing fire safety tips.

I encourage you to visit Dayna’s site and learn more about her efforts to spread the fire safety message. She is dedicated to serving others and reducing fire related deaths and injuries. At her site you can read how a child, Angelica, used the “crawl low” method to save herself and her father from a fire. Dayna and Sparkles are also on Facebook !!!! They would love to hear from you!
Sparkles’ Facebook Page:
Firefighter Dayna’s Facebook page:
Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.