1 Oct

WVU Fire Service Extension partners with School of Journalism to promote Fire Prevention Week

When West Virginia University public relations students began their editing and design class last spring, fall fire prevention wasn’t on their minds. That soon changed when the students learned they would be designing promotional materials for WVU Fire Service Extension to promote National Fire Prevention Week,
Oct. 7 – 13.

The week, which was started by the National Fire Prevention Association, raises awareness for consumers on ways that they can prevent fires at home.

Everything from clothes dryers and candles, to overburdened electrical outlets, can lead to home fires.

“Not every fire situation can be prevented,” explained Mark Doty, WVU Fire Extension Service director. “However, something as simple as cleaning a dryer vent, or replacing the batteries in a smoke detector, can have an impact on your family’s safety and protection.”

Raising awareness for these issues was one task assigned to the 20 students taking the P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s editing and design class in the spring semester of 2012. The students designed promotional materials targeted at fire prevention and programs offered by WVU Fire Service Extension.

The primary focus for the design materials was Junior Fire Fighter Camp, one of the few of its kind in the nation, which draws campers from across the country to WVU Jackson’s Mill in Weston. The campers participate in everything from live firefighting to water rescue drills with supervision from WVU Extension Service faculty and volunteer fire fighters.

Other programs and trainings offered through the WVU Fire Service Extension include a mobile fire training unit which simulates a structural fire, and an aircraft trainer that’s used to train firefighters across the state on aircraft fire rescue missions.

For more information on WVU Fire Service Extension, visit, or call 304-269-0875.

Students create sample designs

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Note: These are sample designs and not finished products.

Meet the students

eclark Erin Clark is from South Charleston, W.Va. She is a senior at WVU studying public relations with a second concentration in law and legal studies. After graduation, Erin plans to work in governmental public relations or continue on to law school. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, soccer, and cheering on the Mountaineers. Erin’s design targets fire fighters, reminding them why they should promote fire awareness during this campaign.

lmckeon Lacy McKeon is a junior public relations student at WVU. She is from Sommerville, NJ. After graduation, McKeon hopes to move to New York City and do public relations work for a non-profit organization or the Yankees. Lacy’s design concept is aimed at getting teenagers to take an interest and make lifestyle changes to help prevent home electrical fires.

emeadows Emily Meadows is a public relations major from Lewisburg, W.Va. After graduation, Emily plans on obtaining an additional degree in Human Nutrition and Foods. She hopes to one day be able to combine her love of writing and nutrition into a career. She says the thing she learned the most from working with the Junior Fire Fighter Camp press materials is the ability to focus on key factors and to emphasize them. Emily’s design reminds parents of the importance of planning a home fire escape route.

sunyon Samantha Runyon is a junior public relations major who is minoring in Business Administration. She is from Charleston, West Virginia. In summer of 2012 she served as an intern with the Dominion Post in Morgantown, W.Va. Currently, she is studying abroad in Strasbourg, France. In her spare time she enjoys running, reading and spending time with friends and family. Samantha’s ad also targets fire fighters and families. Her plan was to include a baby wearing fire boots and making a connection between educating the public and saving lives.

czahn Caitlyn Zahn is from Metuchen, N J, and is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in communications. Caitlyn’s design featured the candle and address preventing home fires by taking the time to blow out candles of an evening. Zahn’s favorite part of the course was mastering the Adobe Creative Suite and using those programs to find creative ways to meet the client’s wishes. “Working with this client has helped me realize I aspire to have a career that involves creating different forms of advertisements,” she said. She aspires to work in the advertising field, specifically doing graphic design.