JIS News

Story Highlights

  • It was the experience of having started a fire that almost resulted in the destruction of her home, which inspired young Canardia Simpson to enter the 2014 Jamaica Fire Brigade Essay, Poster and Song Competition.
  • The 2014 award ceremony was held on October 31 at Emancipation Park in Kingston, as part of activities for Fire Safety Awareness Week from October 26 to November 1.
  • While Ardenne Preparatory and Extension High School did not win the competition, the school claimed second and third places, respectively, in the song and poster contests for the primary school category.

It was the experience of having started a fire that almost resulted in the destruction of her home, which inspired young Canardia Simpson to enter the 2014 Jamaica Fire Brigade Essay, Poster and Song Competition.

“When I was younger and did not really know anything about fire prevention, I lit a piece of paper, got scared of the flame and I threw it in the room. I did not realise that it fell on the curtain and before I knew it, the whole room was on fire,” she shares with JIS News.

The grade six student of Ardenne Preparatory and Extension High School says that since the incident, she has become very keen on fire prevention and safety and so she was quite motivated to enter the competition.

“I can draw and paint as well, so it was a good and fun experience for me,” she says.

The 2014 award ceremony was held on October 31 at Emancipation Park in Kingston, as part of activities for Fire Safety Awareness Week from October 26 to November 1.

While Ardenne Preparatory and Extension High School did not win the competition, the school claimed second and third places, respectively, in the song and poster contests for the primary school category.

The overall winner was St. Aloysius Primary, which has been dominating the primary school segment of the contest for the past four years. The school placed first in all three components of the competition, with entries from the institution claiming all three prizes in the essay segment.

District Officer attached to the Kingston and St. Andrew Fire Prevention Division, Nicholas O’Gilvie, tells JIS News that St. Aloysius Primary has grown over the years.

“They worked very hard this year and as such they were victorious. They had very unique entries,” he says.

Music Teacher at the school, Jermaine Gordon, says the students expected victory because they have been preparing for a while.

“We had to prepare the students by imparting information and skills about fire preparedness and safety and we found that some students were already exposed to this type of information. This made it easier to prepare them for the competition,” he says.

“We have been shining in these competitions and we find that the students are willing and always in competition mode. We also have very competent and committed teachers at the St. Aloysius,” he adds.

Grade five student of the school, Allia Thompson, says that her parents and teachers assisted her with her winning song.

“I feel excited and I am very glad that I won. I know so much more about fire safety and prevention as a result of this competition,” she expresses.

In the meantime, Art Teacher at Ardenne Preparatory and Extension High, Kevon Waite, tells JIS News that the school entered the competition last year for the first time and did well. As a result, the students were inspired to re-enter this year.

“In order to prepare, I gave the competition’s requirements as a project to everyone and the best pieces were selected to enter. This was very difficult because all were done very well,” he says.

In the early childhood category, Jamaica House and St. Joseph Basic Schools won the jingle and poster competitions, respectively.

In the secondary school category, St. Hugh’s High won the song contest, while Papine High came out on top in the essay contest.

There were more than 200 entries submitted from over 10 schools. The winners received gift baskets from Continental Baking Company and trophies from the JFB.

Other sponsors included Lasco, Fraser Fontaine and Kong, Jamaica Properties, Bank of Jamaica, Auto Channel and National Housing Trust (NHT).

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