The Young Hero award recognizes a child, family or group of children who respond appropriately in an emergency by demonstrating key fire and life safety behaviors learned from a S.A.F.E. program. Behaviors include:
- Dialing 911 to report an incident and calmly providing information to a dispatcher
- Performing a lifesaving medical maneuver
- Exiting their home when a smoke alarm sounds and bringing family members out with them
This child's meritorious actions can be recognized with a Young Hero award. Over 300 children have been recognized with Young Hero awards since the program began in 1995.
- A young girl received instruction in class on EDITH (exit drills in the home). She urged her family to create an escape plan and practice it. Just days later, the family safely escaped from a fire in their home, thanks to the child's insistence that they have an escape plan.
- A 5th grade girl dialed 911 to report that her aunt was having a seizure. She remained calm, gave the dispatcher all the necessary information about the incident and cared for her aunt until rescuers arrived on scene.
- A five year old boy alerted his family to danger when he smelled smoke in his home. A fuse box in the basement had shorted and was arcing.The boy had received fire safety instruction at his day care facility from the local fire department.
- A seven year old boy brushed against a candle and his clothing caught fire. He quickly performed the stop, drop and roll procedure and successfully extinguished the flames on his clothes, protecting himself from serious injury. Firefighters had been to his school to teach students how to stop, drop and roll.
Nominate and Recognize a Young Hero
Each Young Hero is presented with a Certificate of Recognition and a Young Hero T-shirt in a ceremony. Each presentation should be unique and respond to the wishes of the family and child. Ask parents for input. Ceremonies can be formal or informal. They can be held at town hall with town officials, at the firehouse with the Fire Chief, or in a school assembly. School assembly presentations both recognize the child in front of peers and give fire educators a second opportunity to interact with the students about fire safety.
- Focus on the award recipient and their actions
- Give credit to your S.A.F.E. Program
- Make the community aware of your department's efforts and take satisfaction in its success
- Include town officials, state representatives and state senators whose support for the S.A.F.E Program is crucial.
- Notify the local media. Both the "Young Hero" and your S.A.F.E. Program deserve to be publicly acknowledged.
- Tips for planning a ceremony.