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posted: 6/7/2014 12:25 PM

Vernon Hills graduates receive Life Safety Kits

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  • Firefighter/paramedics Ron Cielek and Colin Murray hand out Graduation Life Safety kits to Vernon Hills High School seniors following their graduation rehearsal.

      Firefighter/paramedics Ron Cielek and Colin Murray hand out Graduation Life Safety kits to Vernon Hills High School seniors following their graduation rehearsal.
    Courtesy of Countryside Fire Protection District


Submitted by Countryside Fire Protection District

Countryside Fire Protection District provided Graduation Life Safety Kits to the Vernon Hills High School Class of 2014 for the seventh consecutive year.

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"As seniors graduate and go on to college, we want them to continue practicing the fire safety behaviors we have taught them since kindergarten. We want them to be safe while they are at their new home away from home," Public Education Coordinator Tony Rodkey said.

According to Center for Campus Fire Safety, there have been 144 college students that have died in student housing fires in the United States since January of 2000. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, each year in the United States there are an estimated 150 fires in fraternity and sorority houses and 80 percent of the fire fatalities occur in off-campus housing.

"I believe that part of the issue with fire safety awareness on college campuses may be from a lack of consciousness and false belief that (nothing) could ever happen to them," Rodkey said.

There is a large push to provide information about fire safety issues on college campuses across the United States.

Students and parents often assume that every room in an on-campus student residence is covered by an automatic sprinkler system, while others assume their college students have been educated about fire prevention. Prospective students and parents may not know what questions or even think to ask school administrators about the fire safety measures they have in place when they visit campuses.

Countryside Fire Protection District in partnership with Allstate, DaVita Village Health, Toshiba Medical Research Institute, Walgreens and Wal-Mart is providing a fire and life safety program that will help remind students of being fire safe while away at school.

"We want them to make a lifestyle change that will stay with them forever," Rodkey said. "Fires are dangerous whatever age you are and we want to raise awareness for everyone"

The graduation gift has many items to make a student think about fire and life safety while they are away at school. The package includes a backpack to hold a smoke alarm, flameless candle, a first aid kit, N95 mask, hand sanitizer, tissue pack, FEMA Get Out Stay Alive brochure, a College Housing Safety Checklist and other items that will promote safety. The young adults received their kits following the graduation rehearsal on Wednesday, June 4.

For more information, contact Tony Rodkey, at (847) 367-5511, or go to

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