Friday, May 20, 2011


by Rachel Terzo
    When being taught about fire safety, most people were taught the communal phrase “stop, drop, and roll.” The Wood County Fire Prevention and Safety Team believes that there is a lot more to fire safety that is imperative for people of all ages to know.
    The Team will be holding a safety fair at WVU Parkersburg on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair is free to the public, and all ages are welcomed and encouraged to attend. President and founder Chris Pedersen expects that around 3,500 residents will attend this year’s fair.
    Petersen said “We want to hold these fairs every year because we believe that safety education should be a continuous process and a way of life, and we have an unwavering devotion to educating everyone on the importance of practicing safe living.”
    The event will consist of over 25 different learning stations, ranging from fire safety to disaster and highway safety. A free, healthy lunch will also be served during the fair. This event is designed for people of all ages. The organization received a $100,000 FEMA grant for a real-life simulation trailer to demonstrate fire devastation and how to prevent it. “This is not meant to be a scare tactic by any means, just a reality check,” Petersen said.
    The Wood County Fire Prevention and Safety team is a non-profit; government funded 501 C-3 (which means volunteer, tax exempt organization) that formed in June 2010.Pedersen, who is also an EMT, firefighter, and Public Service trainer, believes that, “99% of fires can be prevented with education. People are more in control then they think, if they just take the time to learn. No one is too young or too old to know the importance of safety.”  The team focuses on educating residents of all ages on the importance of fire safety, and life safety in general. The organization also has a program geared towards college students called the “I’ve Got to Know” program, as well as a senior citizens program.  Residents may tune in to WLTP Talk Radio AM 910 for their radio show every Tuesday morning at 7:30a.m.
    The Fire Prevention and Safety Team works with local fire departments, law enforcement, EMS, health care providers and other state and local agencies to help provide a fun, informative, and focused  “hands-on” learning experience.
    “Our goal is that everyone who attended the fair leaves feeling confident that they are knowledgeable about what to do in an emergency situation,” Pedersen said.
    More information pertaining to the fair or organization may be obtained from their website

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