Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Officers, County firefighters, Foothill Elementary School students, and representatives from Brown & Riding Insurance and Fireman’s Fund will come together for a special public event during which the new Fire Safety Education Trailer—made possible through a donation by Fireman’s Fund and Brown & Riding—will be presented. Following the grant presentation, firefighters will conduct a fire safety house demonstration to Foothill Elementary Students.

Date/Time: Thurs., Feb. 24, 2011, 10:00 a.m.

Location: Foothill Elementary School

711 Ribera Dr. Santa Barbara, CA

It is often said that education is our most powerful tool. Fire safety education programs, which teach people how to prevent fires and how to react in the event of an emergency, are extremely powerful in preventing avoidable injury and even death. However, in these times of stretched resources, fire departments often struggle to purchase or update equipment needed to enhance public safety education programs.

Brown & Riding Insurance Services and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company have partnered to donate $39,625 to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. With the donation, the fire department has purchased a new fire safety education trailer.

The mobile unit will be used to educate children on how to respond in certain home emergencies. The safety house is a large modified trailer which can simulate fire, smoke and heat in a kitchen and bedroom in order to teach safety and fire escape techniques. As part of each tour, the instructor fills a room in the house with simulated smoke and uses a heated door to teach kids about the fire on the other side. The safety house will be used to visit schools and teach kids the message of fire safety across the County. It will also be used for education during safety fairs and other community events.

“The fire safety trailer is an excellent tool for kids because it is very hands on, and they actually get to practice what we’re asking them to do,” said Fire Chief Michael Dyer. “Not only is it a wonderful teaching method, but the kids also get to interact with firefighters on a casual and comfortable level and understand what firefighters will do if they ever do have to come to their home.”

“Fire safety education is the first step in preventing fires and keeping people safe, particularly children,” said Chris Brown, president of Brown & Riding Insurance. “We are proud to know this donation will have a positive impact on the children and families in Santa Barbara County.”

The grant is part of a nationwide philanthropic program funded by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The program is designed to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments. Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has issued grants to more than 1,700 different departments totaling more than $27 million. Independent insurance agencies and brokers that sell Fireman’s Fund products, like Brown & Riding Insurance Services, are able to direct these grants to support the fire service.

To visit Fireman’s Fund’s “Supporting Firefighters” Facebook page, go to


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