The Portage Fire Department’s Chester Sroka Fire Prevention Fund was created in 1991. This fund purchases all of the fire safety materials such as pamphlets, badges, rulers, pencils, audio video materials, and coloring books to distribute to the students in the Portage Fire District. Some of these materials are also given to the senior citizens and businesses in our area that receive fire safety classes from our department. Currently in most fire service organizations, budgeted funding is limited for fire prevention needs. With the available private funding for fire prevention programs, progress in the delivery of specific community programs is made possible. Those who will benefit from this program are the citizens of the Portage Fire District, which includes residential, industrial manufacturing, senior citizens, and school-aged children. As mentioned above all age groups have specific prevention programs available to them.
It has always been the philosophy of this department to try to prevent the fire before it starts. To accomplish this goal we must spread the fire safety message to all of our young children as well as adults and our senior citizens. Last year the department visited over 800 school children in the classroom and gave tours to over 300+ children at the station. Students received fire helmets, badges, stickers, pencils, trick or treat bags, and coloring books. Over 200 senior citizens were talked to about fire safety. The senior citizens also received smoke detector reminder stickers, letter openers, bookmarks with the fire message on them, and brochures on fire prevention for seniors.
The coloring book that is handed out to the school children is very unique due to the fact that we use local students to create the fire safety themes for others to color. The pictures used in the book are just a few of the many pictures we receive from the students.