Muskegon- The pandemic hasn’t reduced the need for fire safety, but it has changed the way fire departments are reaching kids.
Along with corporate sponsors State Farm, Lake-Osceola State Bank, Knotty Pine General Store, and Walmart, six West Michigan fire departments have teamed up with Wheeler Creative Studios to distribute 2,000 initial copies of Fire Safety with Woodward and Willow.
The 2,000 copies of the book (which focuses on the importance of quickly escaping a fire and staying out) are now being used by the following departments:
• Walkerville Area Fire and Rescue
• Hesperia Area Fire Department
• Newaygo Fire Department
• Shelby-Benona Fire Department
• Dalton Township Fire Department
• Oceana County Fire Training Council
“We haven’t been able to bring the kids into the station, so we needed a different way to reach them,” says Walkerville Fire Captain Brian Hintz. Hintz, who is also a Muskegon County Deputy Sheriff, became aware of the Cartoonversation program when Wheeler Creative Studios owner Tim Wheeler was delivering books on school violence to the Sheriff’s office. “I asked Tim if he had ever thought about doing children’s books on fire safety, and that’s pretty much where we started the project.” Hintz is serving as Technical Advisor for the book series.
In addition to the turnkey curriculum known as the Cartoonversation Card, as well as alignment with Michigan State Teaching Standards, the book comes with customizable escape plan worksheets to help kids and families identify the exits in their homes. Individual digital copies of the book can be purchased at cartoonversation.com. Fire departments and organizations interested in printing and distributing the books can contact Wheeler Creative Studios at 231.750.9676.