Carbondale fire department receives grant for new Sparky mascot - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carbondale fire department receives grant for new Sparky mascot

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CARBONDALE -- After nearly 25 years, the Carbondale fire department's mascot "Sparky" needed a bit of a a facelift.

"It was getting a little dirty and well-used," Assistant Fire Chief Steve McBride said.

Insurance company FM Global donated a check worth $2,100 for the new costume.

McBride said FM Global insures several properties in Carbondale.

"We were on a call one day and one of our captains made contact with their insurance company and learned about the grant program," McBride said. "So with that information we applied for the grant and were awarded the money."

McBride said Sparky teaches fire prevention tips to kids.

"We've had kids come back to us over the years as they grow up and say 'I remember when Sparky came to the firehouse and taught about smoke detectors and I always make sure my smoke detectors are working and that we have always have a safe way, an escape plan, out of our house,'" McBride said.

And he said those tips are valuable, especially during the holidays.

"There's a lot more things in the house that can burn and catch fire with Christmas decorations and lights and everything," McBride said. "We want everybody to be safe, have their working (smoke) detectors and make sure they have a good escape plan and everything so everybody has a good Christmas season."

The old Sparky still has some life left, though. Carbondale donated the costume to the Southern Illinois Coal Belt Fire Protection District.

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