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Texas Safety Town Injury Prevention Program Gains National Recognition

FRISCO, Texas -- Safety Town has gained national renown.

The 5/8-scale model of Frisco for children at the new Frisco (Texas) Central Fire Station has won a national award for injury prevention after being nominated by another city's fire department.

"I think the great thing is we were nominated by another city, that they were so impressed by what they saw here," Mayor Mike Simpson said at a recent City Council meeting as he proclaimed April Frisco Fire Safety Town month.

Safety Town won the 2008 Nicholas Rosecrans Award from EPIC Medics. Two paramedics from San Diego County started the group, vowing to eliminate preventable injuries in children, after 2-year-old Nicholas drowned after falling into an unfenced pool in 1996. Bruce Evans, chief of emergency medical services for the North Las Vegas Fire Department, nominated Safety Town.

Safety Town offers separate programs for children from kindergarten through fifth grade, teaching everything from the importance of seat belts and following traffic signals to how to act during fires or tornados at home. It opened in January 2007.

Frisco Fire Chief Mack Borchardt is big on prevention.

"I heard a quote a long time ago: There's no honor in putting out a fire that could've been prevented," he recalled. "It just made me conscious we should make every effort toward doing some prevention."

North Las Vegasfirefighters noticed plans for Safety Town during a fire conference in Dallas. Chief Borchardt said city officials visited Frisco three times last year so they can create their own Safety Town. Maybe it will duplicate Frisco's success.

"We did more than 35,000 the first year, and we're on track this year for an increase in those numbers," Frisco's Chief Borchardt said. "It's apparent that the word is getting out."

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