December 7, 2018 5:57 pm

Lawrence Station Elementary School student wins Fire Chief for the Day

Dakota Johnson had the opportunity to ride in the drivers seat of a Lawrence Station fire truck after being awarded the honour of Fire Chief for a Day.

Megan Yamoah / Global News

Every year, one lucky New Brunswick student is awarded the opportunity to be their community’s Fire Chief for a Day.

“You put your name on this ticket, and all your information, and then it goes into a draw and then you can win different stuff and Fire Chief for a Day,” says student Ethan Blair.

This year’s winner was Dakota Johnson. She was selected by a random draw out of 50,000 students across the province.

And that win comes with a few perks.

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“She gets the announcement and she gets the opportunity to ride the fire truck this afternoon, and she’ll likely get to drive home in the fire truck, too,” says Lawrence Station fire chief Michael Lewis.

New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart, who selected Dakota’s name, says this campaign is a way to educate students and create a conversation about fire safety.

“It gives us an opportunity to talk to our youth and to make sure that fire prevention and fire safety are at the forefront of their minds,” said Urquhart. “And they’re going to go and tell all their friends how important it is.”

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Dakota’s family was on hand to cheer her on. Her mother, Shanna Johnson, says despite Dakota being too shy to speak on camera about her big win, she’s still very excited.

“She’s pretty happy inside. Not showing it so much, but I think she is,” says Shanna. “We’re very happy and proud of her.”

Dakota and her classmates hosted a lunch party for the visiting fire marshals. The intent of the surprise event was to pass on fire safety knowledge to the next generation of kids.

“Every generation of young people is better than the generation before them, so now we pass the challenge on to today’s young people to take what they have learned in school and to take what they have learned from this campaign … so that the next generation can continue to be more safe,” says Lewis.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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