I am very excited because last week, I got to hang out with my two friends, Hot Dog and Siren at the FDNY Headquarters. We had fun talking about different ways to be prepared. Enjoy this interview and some fun pictures below!
RG: Firefighters are superheroes that keep NYC safe. Why is it important for New Yorkers to learn about fire safety?
Hot Dog: New Yorkers can help the FDNY keep everyone safe by taking steps to protect their own lives and property during emergencies. There were 59 fire deaths in 2015 (down from 71 in 2014), that’s the second fewest since accurate record-keeping began in 1916! Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the FDNY’s community outreach and education work in 2015 reached more than 740,000 New Yorkers! We know that education works to reduce fire deaths. By staying educated, New Yorkers can save their own lives in the event of an emergency.
RG: How long have you (both) been working for the FDNY?
Hot Dog: I’m the official fire safety mascot of the FDNY. I’m a full grown Dalamatian now and have been a firefighter in the city since I was just a young pup! My ancestors have a long history with the Fire Department. They used to run in front of fire apparatus, when the equipment was horse-drawn. And, many of my relatives lived in the firehouses to keep the horses company and protect the firehouses.
Siren: Like Hot Dog, I’m now a full grown dog but I’ve been an EMT in New York City since I was just a little puppy! I’m a smart and friendly Labrador and I’m the official life safety mascot of the FDNY.
RG: What is the one thing someone can do today to be better prepared?
Hot Dog: There are so many things New Yorkers can do to be better prepared for emergencies, but we know that having a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector inside a home can cut the risk of dying in a fire in half! With early warning, you and your loved ones have more time to escape safely.
Siren: The FDNY recently joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark- Viverito, the FDNY Foundation and the NY Red Cross to launch a new fire safety program called #GetAlarmedNYC. It’s the largest smoke alarm giveaway and installation program in the country and will provide 100,000 Kidde combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms to tens of thousands of city residents. New Yorkers can find a list of events where they can sign up for the program here.
RG: My New Year’s resolution is to make sure I teach as many NYC kids about being ready for emergencies as possible. What are yours?
Siren: My New Year’s resolution is to get as many people as possible to sign up for the FDNY’s free Be 911 CPR Program. It’s a 30-minute class on compressions-only CPR and can give New Yorkers the skills they need to step in and save a life. We even offer the class for high school students, through the Be 911: Teens Take Heart CPR Program! We are so proud to be giving young people these skills, too!
Hot Dog: My New Year’s resolution is to make sure New Yorkers have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes! As Siren said, we know that alone can cut the risk of dying in a fire in half. It’s a simple, but critical lesson and I want to make sure all New Yorkers are doing what they can to stay safe.
RG: What is your favorite thing about the FDNY?
Hot Dog: My favorite thing about the FDNY is the brave men and women who make up what truly is the Greatest Fire Department in the world. Every Firefighter, Paramedic, EMT, Fire Marshal, Inspector and civilian in this Department is dedicated and committed to the life-saving mission of the FDNY. On September 11, 2001, the nation and the world saw what New Yorkers have always known: the FDNY will stop at nothing to fulfill its pledge to protect life and property. Siren and I are so proud to stand with these men and women!
RG: My favorite moment as Ready Girl so far has been being able to work alongside my superhero friends. What has been your favorite moment teaching kids about being safe?
Siren: I am happiest when I get to spread awareness about important life safety lessons. We have an amazing Mobile CPR Unit, which hosts free CPR trainings in schools, senior centers community centers and businesses around the City. The men and women who train New Yorkers how to perform compressions-only CPR are truly arming our City’s residents with life-saving skills, and who knows when any one of us might need to step in to save a life?
Hot Dog: We have so much fun every year at the FDNY Fire Prevention Week event, which last year, we held at the Plaza at Rockefeller Center. We get to meet hundreds of New York City school children, who all take the Junior Firefighter and EMT Pledge. It’s designed to remind children to practice fire safety and share it with their family and friends. We have an amazing Fire Safety Education Team who spends the whole year teaching kids around the City about fire and life safety. We are so proud to teach New York City kids how to stay safe, and keep their families safe, in any emergency!
RG: Most importantly, what is your favorite type of pizza?
Siren and Hot Dog: We both like our pizza full of veggies!
RG: That’s awesome! I also like veggie pizza, and of course some pup-peroni! Thanks for hanging out with me!