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Fifth-graders step up for fire safety

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 13, 2016

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TROY — Each year, fifth-graders in the Troy School District are challenged to complete home fire safety checklists to ensure their homes have working fire detectors, a designated outside meeting spot and a family escape plan, and that they practice fire escape drills at home. 

The students are also challenged to complete home fire safety checklists for homes of friends, family and neighbors. 

And once again, the fifth-graders rose to the challenge, although the project is not required for a grade. Troy Fire Department staff technician Chuck Roberts said students turned in approximately 800 checklists this year. He noted that the winners do not get any parties or gifts. 

The teacher whose class turns in the most fire safety checklists receives a certificate of appreciation. Hamilton Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Kyle Rogers is the only teacher in the district to have won the top teacher award every year for the number of checklists submitted. While Hamilton Elementary School has led the district with the total number of certificates turned in for the past three years, Schroeder Elementary School, led by the top teacher at that school, Jason Cichowicz, posted the highest overall total of checklists to date, nosing out Hamilton by only a handful of checklists. 

“All four of us (fifth-grade teachers at Schroeder) are really proud of our students,” Cichowicz said. “The students learned a lot about the importance of fire safety, the importance of having smoke detectors, having a safe meeting spot and what to do in the event they’re in a fire,” he said.

“The Troy Fire Department commends all the students, teachers and staff at all of the Troy elementary schools for their participation in this annual spring event,” Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts said. “Fire safety is so important, and we are very proud of our Troy students who took time to learn about making their homes safe for them and their families.”