New production launched to teach children about fire safety

HALIFAX, EDMONTON, Oct. 10, 2006 – Teaching children how to get to safety in the event of a fire is a challenging task. But Staying Alive Inc. is an organization dedicated to doing just that, and it recently launched its newest educational tool, a Public Service Announcement (PSA), for National Fire Safety Week, October 8-14.

The bilingual 30-second PSA was launched at the Bedford Fire Station in Halifax and at Michael A. Kosteck School in Edmonton, where students gathered to learn about fire safety procedures from Winnipeg firefighter and founder of Staying Alive, Shane Ferguson.

“In the midst of smoke and flames, a child’s first instinct is to hide in a closet or under a bed, making it difficult for rescuers to get them out safely,” said Ferguson. “This Public Service Announcement is a fun way for youngsters to learn the importance of having a home escape plan, and the proper way to react when the fire alarm sounds.”

With the support of The Co-operators, Staying Alive has produced a variety of educational material for children, including The Great Escape, an interactive computer game that teaches children how to make their way out of their home safely in the event of a fire. More than 100,000 copies of the game have been distributed free of charge in 32 countries. Designed to build upon the success of The Great Escape and featuring the same animated lobster who stars in the game, the PSA is being distributed to every television station in Canada.

“We are proud to support the great work Shane is doing to protect the most vulnerable in our communities – our children,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “If a single child is encouraged to practise proper fire safety procedures because of this PSA, it will have been a great success.”

The production and distribution costs of both the game and the PSA have been paid by The Co-operators.

About Staying Alive Inc.
Staying Alive is a non-profit organization that promotes public safety education through classroom and community multimedia presentations; public information displays at schools, events, shopping malls, and community centres; public awareness campaigns; and interactive games, exercises, and information.

About The Co-operators
The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies focussing on insurance, as well as investment products and property development. It is owned by 33 Canadian co-operative organizations.