Byline: Larry Smith Daily Herald Staff Writer
Thousands of school children will be getting up close and personal with fire and its dangers this week.
The Mount Prospect Fire Department is sponsoring the annual Children's Fire Safety Festival at Randhurst Shopping Center, which starts today.
Elementary school and day-care students from Wheeling, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights will participate in the five-day festival.
"It's the best and easiest way to get a lot of children," said Rich Doubek, public education officer for the Mount Prospect Fire Department. "Fire safety awareness is the bottom line."
Doubek said he expects that about 3,000 students will participate in the festival.
Volunteers from 12 fire departments will help in the educational programs being provided for the students, he added.
"We get between 20 and 25 volunteers to come out and help each day," Doubek said.
The Children's Fire Safety festival began in May 1982 after public education officers from 12 local fire departments got together and decided to change the annual firefighters recognition week from fire suppression activities to fire safety activities. …