The University Celebrates Fire Safety and Hero Day

The University attempts to diminish vehicle and fire safety accidents on and off campus with Fire Safety/ Hero Day on the Residential Life Quad.

All apartments were encouraged to attend the event on Wednesday September 26 because it is important to teach students how to properly use their fire extinguishers. This program contributed to fire safety and was also an opportunity for the campus to learn more about the HERO Campaign.

The HERO Campaign is an organization focused on preventing drunk driving accidents. Their mission is to promote the use of safe and sober designated drivers. This campaign is dedicated to John R. Elliott, an Ensign in the United States Navy who was killed by a drunk driver July of 2000.

Mark Holfelder, Associate Director of Residential Life, said, the reason why the fire safety and HERO Campaign were joined was to assist in publicizing the HERO Campaign out to the student population. “We have expanded the program beyond Fire Safety as we look at safe drinking practices and other personal safety issues,” Holfelder said.

Gary Mejia, a junior, won the Designated Driver HERO award in spring of 2012. Mejia said he won it after being nominated by his peers. “I drove when they were drunk, to and from parties,” he said.

Mejia continues to say, “I hope people really take seriously all the activities that are done and realize that it is better to have someone drive you to a party or take a cab than lose your life or harm others.”

Fire Safety/HERO Day is a volunteer event. Many different stations took part in the theme of safety. HERO information station provided material about what the HERO Campaign was trying to promote. Another station included identity theft and SCAM prevention information. Some of the more hands on workshops were golf cart rides with goggles that would simulate certain levels of alcohol intoxication and ID engravings that could assist in retrieval of an object if it were lost or stolen.

Daniella Acevedo, a junior, participated in the Smoke Trailer Simulator.

At this station, students learned how to evacuate a room filled with theater smoke.

Acevedo said it helped her become more aware of instances relating to fires. “I think everyone knows instinctively how bad something can go but until you actually see for yourself how bad things can get, you just don’t realize the severity behind having so many fire hazards in your room or apartment,” she said.

The Smoke Trailer Simulator was sponsored by the Howell Township Fire Department. Other sponsors included the Office of Residential Life, Office of Substance Awareness, Monmouth University HERO, MUPD and Monmouth University Fire Safety Office. These offices contribute to the event every year.

Rosie Wandel, a senior apartment manager for Maplewood, said, “The faculty does a great job teaching the students about fire safety and although I’ve gone before, they always teach me something new and helpful.” She said the University is such a safe campus because of events like this one.

Around 130 students attended the program. Holfelder said it was the largest attendance in the last few years. “We feel that this program is valuable as it helps to raise awareness regarding fire safety and other personal safety issues,” he said.

Acevedo said she had a good time at the program and learned a lot about safety. “I know a fire safety event seems pointless just because even when we were kids we were told how to avoid fires and how to remain safe if one ever occurred, but the event was definitely a reminder of everything I’ve been learning since I was little.”