DANSVILLE — The Dansville Fire Department has been awarding students who participate in Fire Prevention since the 1950s.


This proud tradition carried on with over 20 Dansville Central students ranging from kindergarten to ninth grade.


Dansville Past Fire Chief Greg Horr welcomed all the students and parents to the Fire Prevention Awards Ceremony on Nov. 21.


“We make sure to get the supplies to the school, and we really appreciate the effort they put into it,” he said. “Without the help from the school none of us would be here tonight. I want to thank the students and their parents for all their hard work.”


There were about 150 essays and posters handed in this year, and it was hard to judge the winners.


“The essays and posters were all really good this year,” Horr said. “It was really hard to judge them.”


Dansville Fire Chief Glenn Camuto said all of the essays and posters were really good, and they could tell the students really learned something about Fire Prevention.


“We down a week before Fire Prevention and dropped off the supplies at the school, he said. “This all gives back to the community. The kids get to show that hard work pays off. It was hard to judge, because so many of them were good.”


Horr said the ceremony was really well attended by the community.


The seventh and eighth graders get extra credit if they participate, so it adds some initiative to the essays and posters.


“We meet with the school every year, and go over the program,” Horr said. “Dr. Paul Alioto (Superintendent) really loves the program.”


With the essays this year it was impressive that the students put in exactly what they had learned during Fire Prevention, Horr said.


Dansville Fire Fighter Bill Potter was the original Sparky, but has retired the honor to Dansville Fire Fighter Jacob Smith.


“I was asked to be Sparky when we first got the costume about 24 years ago,” he said. “We donated the first costume to the county about two years ago. My favorite part about being Sparky was seeing the kids at the schools.”


Smith said he grew up loving Sparky and seeing him at all the school functions and festivals. Now he gets to put on the costume, and fill those big shoes.


“I don’t know if I am going to like walking up and down main street for the parade,” he said. “I do love seeing the excitement on kids faces. You get the kids to break away from the fear, and they come right up to you.”


Smith grew up around the Dansville Fire Department, and was a Junior Explorer. He has spent eight years in the fire department.


The Fire Prevention Ceremony was Smith’s second time putting on the Sparky costume, and he really enjoyed it.


“I grew up watching Sparky in all the parades,” he said. “I never thought I would be Sparky.”


The winners of the 2017 Fire Prevention Ceremony are the following for first place; Lucas Mosko, Elianna Woodard, Leila Fisk, David Sick, Matthew Nolan, Gage Frazier, Brandon Foster, and Jolin Qiu; for second place; Anna Curran, Paxton FitzPatrick, Sophia Goins, Hayden Scollon, Casey Youngers, Peter Frisiras, Adryanna Arriaga, and Lydia Kruchten; for third place; Jesse Fisk, Karmen Chabot, Avalyn Hall, Ella Martin, Baylee Hayes, Sofia Rodriguez, and Hannah Frazier. The grand prize and bike winners are; Lucas Mosko, Matthew Nolan, Gage Frazier, and Brandon Foster.