Preventing Fire One Child at a Time

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Updated: 9/04/2013 8:51 am
The strong, silent type, these are the folks that have been lamented on the pages of comic books since what seems like the first storyboards were put on the page.

In this month's Volunteer Spotlight, we take a look at one character that easily fits the classical mold of a hero.

It has not always been hugs and high fives says Sparky Firedog, Mascot with the Pocatello Fire Department. Captain Richard Nelson is one of just a few in the world fluent in Dalmatian and he says Sparky started out at the bottom like everyone else.

"His first job was like any other fire employee,” said Captain Nelson, translating for Sparky, “it was cleaning up, helping around the fire station, cleaning floors, taking care of things, and guarding the fire trucks.”

But one day, they found Sparky's true calling.

“Then we found out that he worked really well with kids,” said Capt. Nelson.

Since then Sparky's appeared around east Idaho spreading the message of fire prevention to the area's children. You can find Firedog at benefits, community events, and the like making sure kids stay safe.

“He really enjoys it,” Captain Nelson said. “With Sparky, he’s got a strong rapport with kids, they love seeing him. Kids come up to Sparky when they won’t come up to us and so we can talk to them as they’re interacting with Sparky and talk to them about fire safety and how to stay safe at home.”

It’s a message Sparky plans to deliver for a long time to come.

“As Sparky, he’s going to do this as long as he can” said Capt. Nelson, translating for Sparky, “He’s been doing this for 60 years and he want to do it for 60 more or longer.”

For more information on the way's you can get involved in the community, you can visit

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