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Article Critique

The purpose of this assignment is to investigate a professional journal in the field of fire prevention that interests you. The

objective of your critique is to find an article and compare the information in the article to what you have been learning in

class. Critique the article in terms of how the information within the article supports or disproves material that you have

learned in this course. Please include the following topics in your critique of the selected article:

  a brief introduction and overview of the article,

  a description of how the article either supports or disproves material in the course,

  your point of view, and

  a summarization of your thoughts and suggestions in support of your opinion.

 

This my article :

Oct. 31–SPRINGFIELD TWP. — The hardest part about this job can often be watching tragedy unfold right in front of your eyes.

In my previous role as a sports writer, I was often shielded from the realities my colleagues faced on a day-to-day basis. Fires, shootings, car accidents — those weren’t exactly my area of expertise. I’d always been more suited for Friday night football games and Saturday morning cross country meets.

However, duty calls for reporters. It was a blessing being reassigned to a new position a few years ago covering the city of Springfield and other areas of our communities (I actually get to see my wife and children on weeknights!).

With that change brought breaking news — which can be tough for a father of three. In those situations, you do your job to the best of your ability, go home and hug your kids just a little bit tighter.

I got a phone call at about 3 p.m last Wednesday from a number I didn’t know. It took about two minutes to check the message. It was my mother, Henrietta, frantically telling me to get home because my house on Beard Road was on fire.

A few moments later, I received the greatest news I’d heard in weeks.

“Everyone got out of the house OK,” My mom said, or something like that.

It’s much easier driving to a fire at your house knowing your children — 5-year-old son Christian, 3-year-old daughter Harper and 6-month-old boy Benjamin — were safe and completely unharmed. We know it could’ve been much, much worse.

Ten minutes later, I saw the flames pouring through my house. The firefighters were amazing, but at that point, the damage was done.

While our home is gone for now, the memories made inside will last forever. At that point, the hugs from my babies, my wife Carey and my mom were all that mattered.

The Springfield Twp. Fire Department saved my family long before they arrived on scene at my home on Oct. 21.

A few weeks ago, Christian, a Kindergartner in Cortney Simpson’s class at Reid School, brought back extra homework. It was a Fire Safety Week worksheet asking us to answer questions about our home’s fire safety precautions: Where are your smoke alarms located? Do they work? Do they need batteries? We walked through our house checking the smoke alarms. Thankfully, they all worked.

We also formulated a custom escape plan for Christian in case he heard the smoke detectors going off or saw smoke in our home — run to the front door and exit to the front yard.

The next day, the school held an assembly with the Springfield Twp. Fire Department to talk about the importance of following your escape plan during a fire at your home — important skills you hope your children never need to use.

A few weeks later, Christian needed those skills. The Wednesday afternoon of the fire was just like any other for my mom and my children. Before the fire, my children were watching TV while my mom was watching the baby and doing laundry.

As Christian heard the smoke alarms blaring, he sprung into action. He not only followed his escape route, he took his baby sister with him, too. A few moments later my mom followed with the baby.

When I heard what had happened with Christian, I couldn’t help but remember the Fire Safety Week lesson he had just been taught at school. A few of the firefighters at the school earlier that month were also there to fight the fire at my home, including Noelle Diller. She was there to give Christian a high-five a few hours after their work was done.

On Tuesday, the fire department awarded Christian a Certificate of Heroic Bravery for using fire safety tips to save a family member and a Certificate of Achievement, making him a Junior Firefighter.

At the ceremony at the Springfield Twp. meeting, we couldn’t help but cry tears of joy. To impact one child, it was worth the time and money the township and the fire department members put forth last month, said Lt. Bill Hoelscher.

“Christian was able to implement exactly what he was taught and get his sister as soon as they heard the smoke detectors and exit the house,” Hoelscher said. “When we entered the house, to know there were multiple places these children could’ve gone … but he paid attention. He paid attention to exactly what he was taught and that’s called a hero.”

Christian saved his sister’s life, but he couldn’t have done it without what he was taught at Fire Safety Week.

My family will be forever grateful for the Springfield Twp. Fire Department.

In the aftermath of the fire that changed our lives, my wife Carey and I simply have to say: “Thank you.”

The countless number of people who have reached out since the fire destroyed our home a few weeks ago has been amazing. I would love to mention everyone in this column, but it would be much too difficult.

For those of you who donated in any way, shape or form: “Thank you.”

Your friendship and support means the world to us.

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