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Bedford Fire Department Honors Fire Prevention Poster Winners
Updated October 11, 2018 8:53 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Bedford Fire Departments Annual Fire Prevention Dinner was Wednesday at fire headquarters on H Street.


For 50 years the Bedford Fire Department has hosted a fire prevention poster contest for fifth graders within the North Lawrence County School District. This years poster theme was "Look, Listen, Learn. Be aware, fire can happen anywhere."


Winners received a blue ribbon, medallion, lunch and a ride on the fire truck.


Valerie Luchauer, Director of Lawrence County Emergency Management Association proudly announced the names of each poster winner from the 5th grade with the assistance of Gary Connor, Superintendent of North Lawrence Community Schools who awarded medallions to each winner.

The first place winners were:

  • St. Vincent De Paul: Zach McMillen
  • Fayetteville: Wyatt Corbin
  • Needmore Elementary: Kelton Wigley
  • Dollens Elementary: Zaine Daugherty and Chase Stephenson
  • Springville Elementary: Kayla Olson and Cole Hayes
  • Lincoln Elementary: Brook Lynne and Killy Bagge
  • Parkview Intermediate: Jayden Marsteiner, Suttyn Alvey, Amos Kot, and Stella Greenwood
  • Stalker Elementary: Emma Steepleton
  • Heltonville Elementary: Sierra Owens
  • Shawswick Elementary: Kymber Allen and Gracie Simmerman


Battalion Chief and Prevention Coordinator John Hughes recognized all the sponsors that support the dinner. A special recognition was given to Lighthouse Financial for sponsoring the fire prevention program for more than 25 years. Jason Parsley with Lighthouse Financial accepted the Service Award.



The program would not be where it is today without Battalion Chief and Prevention Coordinator John Hughes.

Inspector DeWayne Turpen stated, " Battalion Chief John Hughes' dedication to the program has been unlaboring for 27 years".


During the Mayoral Address, Mayor Shawna Girgis made a clear statement to the children, "Thank you for being the fire ambassadors for all of Bedford"

Since 2016,187 Hoosier lives have been lost due to fire. Sadly enough most of these deaths were caused by smoke detectors not properly working in their homes.

State Senator Eric Koch stated that more than a half of million dollars has been committed toward families facing economic barriers to prevent further deaths through giving the free smoke alarms and delivering fire safety programs at Indiana school and civic organizations.

State Senator Koch expressed solace when delivering the staggering statistic of losing nearly 21,000 firefighters and volunteers within the past five years due to fire.

Former Mayor John Williams shared with the students how the city began focusing on fire prevention after a fire ravaged the downtown Bedford area on March 15, 1892. The fire was the most destructive in the history of Bedford.

A chicken house in the rear of W.A. Jone's grocery caught on fire and spread rapidly to adjoining properties. The buildings and three residents comprised one half of the south side of the public square.

The losses included five storerooms belonging to J.D. Thomasson and his home, Charles Walker clothing business, William R. Reath bakery, George W. Hudson's building, Phipps & Co. druggist, John McMahon's grocery, Mrs. Acoam's house, The Harfield house, John Johnson's building, Gainey & Gunn building, Horace Ritchardson building, W.F. Brewer jewelry, W.E. Harvey grocery, J.E. Moore meat market, Reath Bros. Barber, W.A. grocery, James Crooker restauranteur, S.F. Buchanan grocery, S.B. Lowe and A.C. Voris both lost their libraries, and city records were destroyed.

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