Newton Fire/EMS continuously works to maintain positive public relations with the community. Within the Fire Prevention and Education realm, three programs have been developed over the years and continue to succeed.
Fire Safety Trailer
The Fire Safety Trailer was purchased in 2006 with Fire Prevention and Safety Grant funding. The trailer is 39 feet in length with bleacher-style seating for 25 people and a full-size kitchen with interactive appliances. Other features of the trailer include:
- A public address system
- TV/VCR system for video presentations
- Weather Smart Package that simulates a severe weather condition in a safe and realistic environment
- 8000 Watt 13 HP HONDA Power Generator
- Smoke generator equipment with piping and ventilation fans for safe smoke simulations
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors and other features
- Equipped to meet all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for public use
Since its purchase, it has been seen at numerous community events such as the Taste of Newton, Chisholm Trail Festival, Apple Blossom Festival, and the Annual Firefighters Competition. The trailer has also been used for other events in cooperation with local businesses such as Walmart and Dillons.
Sparky's Hazard House
In 2004 Newton Fire/EMS received Fire Prevention and Safety Grant funding to purchase Sparky's Hazard House. It is used to educate children and adults about fire risks and hazards inside and outside the home.
The Hazard House allows the audience to participate in transforming the house from hazardous to safe by using 3D parts, flips, tokens and stick-on illustrations. The house also features animated effects such as realistic smoke in action, electrical sparking and arcing, and other sound and lighting effects.
Sparky's Hazard House is an innovative and captivating teaching aid for the safety-conscious department to create a safety-conscious community.
Adopt A School
Newton Fire/EMS implemented an Adopt A School program in 2004 as another avenue to positively affect the community. Newton Fire/EMS personnel assist second-grade students by practicing math skills through interactive games and activities. The program began with just Sunset Elementary School but has grown to include Northridge and South Breeze Elementary Schools as well. In addition, other Fire/EMS personnel became "tutors" and made weekly trips to the schools to assist the children.
As a result of the department's efforts, in 2007 Newton Fire/EMS was nominated by USD 373 and awarded a state Friends of Education Award from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.