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$1,200 benefits fire-safety program

Fire safety programs locally are $1,200 richer, thanks to a contribution last week from International Paper.

McDuffie County volunteer firefighter Mark Harnage, a 17-year employee of the Augusta manufacturer, designated the gift to the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services.

Fire-safety education "saves more lives than this big, red truck ever has," said Chief Bruce Tanner, who accepted the check on behalf of the fire service.

Lt. Ed Lewis, the agency's fire-safety-education coordinator, said the money will buy pencils, coloring books, toy fire hats and other items for schoolchildren. The agency visits schools to present its safety message.

Mr. Harnage said Lt. Lewis brings a fire-safety house to the schools and teaches children not to panic in the event of a fire and how to crawl below the level of the smoke.

"They'll go home and tell their parents they need to have a fire drill," Chief Tanner said. "You get to the kids you get to the parents."

Web posted on Thursday, January 06, 2011

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