Bikes, smiles and fire safety

The Brainerd Fire Department and Brainerd Ace Hardware gave away four bikes and helmets to the winners of the monthlong coloring contest Wednesday.

Kids with their bikes standing next to a fire truck.
Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes, back left, Brainerd Ace Hardware manager Aaron Parker and Brainerd Battalion Chief Joe Rubado handed out new bikes to 9-year-old Brielle Schultz, front left, 5-year-old Jackson Thompson, 6-year-old Azalia Bracy and 4-year-old Lola Hidalgo Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, at the Brainerd Fire Department.
Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — After a month of spreading the message of fire safety, the Brainerd Fire Department and Brainerd Ace Hardware gave away four bikes and helmets to the winners of the monthlong coloring contest Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Brainerd Fire Department.

Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said the department partnered with Ace to promote the fire safety message during National Fire Safety Month.

The winners were 6-year-old Azalia Bracy, 9-year-old Brielle Schultz, 5-year-old Jackson Thompson and 4-year-old Lola Hidalgo.

“It was pretty cool to be able to partner up with a local business and work with them to promote the fire safety message, get the kids involved and get the community all involved in the same message,” Holmes said.

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Receiving over 60 entries throughout the month of October, Holmes said some came in from day cares and classes where they colored as a group.


“They took the opportunity to not only do the coloring contest as a group but also pass on the message of the event and what it was for and why they were coloring,” Holmes said. “And despite the age, I think getting the message out early gives them an opportunity just to hear it and take it all in.”

The message for this year's fire safety month was “fire won't wait, plan your escape.” Holmes said to talk with people in one’s household to make sure everyone has an escape plan in the event of a fire, along with having a common meeting place.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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