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February 25, 2011 > Fire Station Buddies prepare kids for emergencies

Fire Station Buddies prepare kids for emergencies

Submitted By Hannah Shaner

Karen McHale, a volunteer firefighter in Idaho Springs, Colorado, has just published her first book in a series designed to teach kids how to prepare for emergencies. Fire Station Buddies: The Pact lets kids join a virtual fire station and get started on training to be a Fire buddy like the fictional characters in the series.

The story follows six fifth-grade friends as they stop at Fire Station 2 to get ideas for an assignment. They stumble onto clues that lead them to a startling discovery: talking animals once had a secret pact with firefighters to help stop fires, but the pact and the animals have been forgotten. Can the kids find these special creatures and revive the pact before a wildfire traps them in the forest?

Those too young to read can get Fire Station Buddies: The Legend, a picture book for children 5 and under that shares the story of pillow animals living at the fire station. The pillow animals make a convenient cover story for hiding the secret revealed in The Pact. In real life, McHale and her co-workers use the pillow animals to comfort children in emergencies.

Fire Station Buddies: The Pact and the picture book are available only at, where kids can join a virtual Fire Station 2 as a volunteer fire station buddy. Materials and other items are available so all fire buddies can start their own training. Proceeds from purchases will support volunteer fire departments across the country. A training manual will soon be available by section for download at the site covering "subjects that real firefighters learn about - trucks, knots, gear, preparing (stay in place and evacuate plans), who does what on the scene, certification, search and rescue, swift water, structural and wild fire science, ice rescue and many more," said McHale.

"Almost weekly, there is some kind of disaster on the news that can scare kids. Fear can be reduced by being prepared, practicing safety and learning how to solve a problem. My training program and all the books in the series will show kids how to be ready to handle an emergency."

Fire Station Buddies: The Pact
By Karen McHale
Retail price: $10

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