National Fire Prevention Week was October 7-13 with the theme “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.” The Salisbury Fire Department felt that the theme was great but they wanted a message targeted specifically to Salisbury residents. Salisbury Fire Department and Life Safety Educator Kimberly Boling contacted Battalion Chief Forrest to survey all SFD members on a key message.
The firefighters were given an option of three National Fire Protection Association approved messages to choose between. The top choice was “Know 2 Ways Out.” This was essential because Salisbury firefighters are the ones in the field most often, addressing fire calls and community concerns throughout the city.
"We know that in order to teach our adults, we work through our children,” said Boling. “Therefore we wanted a youthful, almost childish themed billboard. After some research and finding several ideas of kid’s drawings, a vision was born. We are so proud of everyone for all of their input and hard work into this year’s fire prevention message,” said Boling.
The city’s communications department had a six-month contract for a local billboard and several City departments were offered the opportunity to put a message on the billboard for a month. Fern Blair, Salisbury web and marketing services coordinator, contacted Boling to find out what message the Salisbury Fire Department would like to put up in October. Boling suggested a billboard targeting kids, relaying the “two ways out” message, because local schools would be educating kids on fire safety and it would be a great reminder for kids passing by to inform their parents about what they learned in school.
Blair recommended a design that looked like a kid’s creation, drawn with actual crayon. Boling donated the crayons from the Fire department’s promotional materials so that Blair could begin work on the billboard design.
In true teamwork fashion the October billboard portrays the Salisbury Way and Team Salisbury. The Salisbury Fire Department would love to continue to have this billboard adventure every year for Fire Prevention Week!