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May 27, 2011
Toronto firefighters and Toronto Blue Jays Swing into Summer Safety
Teaching children how to protect themselves from injury is always important to Toronto firefighters, especially as the summer vacation approaches. This summer, Toronto students will be armed with safety tips even before their vacation begins, thanks to new safety campaign called Swing into Summer Safety.

Toronto Fire Services is one of about 200 Ontario fire departments participating in this educational campaign for school-aged children and their families. Initiated by the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council, fire departments will join with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, Kidde Canada, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, and Pizza Pizza, with each community partner having sponsored efforts to increase safety awareness.

The President of the Toronto Blue Jays, Paul Beeston, and Blue Jays player and spokesperson John McDonald joined with Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart, Ontario Fire Marshal Ted Wieclawek and Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs President Tim Beckett at Toronto Fire Station 333 at 207 Front St. E. at noon today to address the media.

"The Toronto Blue Jays are pleased to once again be partnering with the brave men and women of the Ontario Fire Service on a campaign that reinforces and educates families and youth on the importance of fire safety awareness," commented Blue Jays President Paul Beeston.

"Growing up the son of a firefighter, I understand firsthand the importance of fire safety. I am honoured to be a part of this campaign and hope to bring awareness and knowledge of fire safety to youth across Ontario," said John McDonald.

"I am delighted to team up with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs," said Toronto Fire Services Fire Chief William Stewart, "especially to promote safety as we swing into summer."

Joining firefighters today in their efforts, Toronto District School Board students from Market Lane Public School attended the media kickoff to meet with John McDonald, as well as Blue Jays mascot Ace and Toronto Fire Services mascot Sparky. Afterward, they enjoyed a pizza lunch courtesy of community partner Pizza Pizza.

To help ensure the success of this educational campaign, each participating fire department will receive sets of Blue Jays baseball cards with safety tips, posters, banners, and pennants to use in the campaign, along with public service announcements featuring the Toronto Blue Jays. The campaign launch will be followed by an in-stadium launch at the Rogers Centre later today and a special Fire Safety Day on June 16.

More safety information is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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