“Smoke goes up, the fire alarm goes beep, beep, beep and we go down.” That was what children gathered at Heartland Ranch Elementary School’s gym enthusiastically chanted back to firefighters giving a presentation to their school last Thursday.
More than 20 years ago, Charlie Mitchell launched the Fire Safety Poster Contest in Coolidge as a way to drive home the message of safely responding to and preventing fires to young children. According to Brenda Mitchell, her late husband started the program as a way to honor firefighters near the date of Fire Safety Week — Oct. 6-12.
Although Mitchell has since passed, years later the program he helped start lives on thanks to the joint effort of his family and the Coolidge Fire Association. Shortly after his passing, the association named the poster contest after Mitchell, who was a volunteer firefighter in Coolidge for 27 years.