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Blazes Project Gets a Spark

West Hartford's 5th graders are continuing their project to map all the fire hydrants in town.

Press release written and submitted by Sydney Anderson and Grace Faenza

We got lucky this past winter with low snowfall! The Blazes project is still in session though.

The effort help the community be safer is important to many 5th graders. “We are not giving up on this project,” said Sydney Anderson, a 5th grader.

Teams from Duffy have been visiting elementary schools to review procedures and support the Blazes representatives. Two groups of kids have already visited and . On May 31 at 12:30 p.m., four Duffy 5th graders will present to the entire 5th grade at . Firefighters will also be there to talk about the importance of hydrant clearing. The fire fighters will be bringing a fire truck to demonstrate how it is connected to a hydrant. They hope to bring fire safety awareness to the citizens of West Hartford.

The project, “Where in the Blazes RU?” was funded by the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools and the West Hartford Elementary School PTOs. The was having trouble locating and clearing all of their fire hydrants.

Teacher Clare Taylor saw an opportunity for a service learning project where students could play an active role in the community solving problems. Each school received two Garmin GPS units and had two students trained on how to map the hydrants in their area. Adoptive parents were recruited to clear or mark the hydrants with snow flags during heavy snows.

Another goal she had was to put innovative technology in every school. “Duffy students have been using GPS Technology for years and I thought it would be fun to get other students involved,”  Taylor said.

All of the elementary schools have GPS units to use for geography lessons or Geocaching. The project was much bigger than anyone expected. We would like to continue to mark hydrants and recruit people to clear hydrants next winter and beyond.

“Helping the community is one of your biggest jobs in your life,” said Grace Faenza a Duffy student who is excited about going to Aiken on the 31st.

If you would like to adopt a fire hydrant and clear it of snow in the winter contact your local elementary school and they will send you a certificate. 

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