Great Falls Fire Rescue hosted a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon honoring three kids for their winning entries in an fire prevention essay contest.
This year's three winners were Ethan Janusz (first place), Emma McVeda (second place), and Lewis Weidow (third place). McVeda was not present during the ceremony, but the other two had the opportunity to present their winning essays on why you should have a fire escape plan, and what that plan would include.
Janusz won the award the previous year, and said he felt excited to finish in the top three once again.
He stated, "I felt a little nervous, and I'm just glad to be here for the second year in a row. I know a little bit more about it, but still fairly nervous because I thought it would've been a little different this year, and I'm just glad to be here."
Janusz explained his reasons for participating for two years in a row.
He said, "I don't want to see people get harmed because of lack of planning. I've had experiences with people not planning, and it doesn't turn out great, so for something as important like this, you have to plan ahead."
Third place winner Lewis Weidow said, "I wasn't really expecting it, but when I got the news, it was really exciting ... The teachers at my school have talked about something like this a lot, so I felt really confident to participate.
Weidow said it took a lot of time and effort, but he has gained much more knowledge than before.
"I had to do a lot of research and put it all together, and it helped me understand it a whole lot more," he said.
This is the second year Great Falls Fire Rescue has sponsored the essay contest.
Deputy Fire Marshal Jerry Pospisil said, "Kids are the ones home by themselves, parents are the ones that are working. It's important to have the kids be able to know what to do in the case of a fire. At nighttime, kids are in their rooms alone. They need to be able to get out in case their parents can't get to them.
He added, "These kids put a lot of time and effort into this. There was plenty of research done, and insight given. It gives hope for the younger generation that they still care and want to learn."
GFFR provided the following prizes:
- 1st place: $100 Visa gift card
- 2nd place: $50 Visa gift card
- 3rd place: $25 Visa gift card
There was also a plaque given to each of the winners.
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