The Forsyth County Fire Department is going high-tech in an effort to teach fire safety to children.
The department has received a $12,083 Assistance to Firefighter Grant aimed at enhancing response capabilities and more effectively protecting the health and safety of the public.
According to a news release, the funds have been used to buy a fire safety robot and a trailer to house it, as well as transportation and fire safety promotional items.
The robot will be part of the department's program for toddler and preschool-aged children that focuses on home fire safety, fire escape planning, match and lighter safety and injury prevention.
Fire Chief Danny Bowman said the department takes fire prevention education "very seriously."
"It's imperative to teach children at a young age that firefighters are there to help them," he said. "The tools acquired thanks to this grant will help us to do just that."
One of program's key components is teaching young children not to fear firefighters dressed in their full gear.
The fire-bot is a fully animated fireman and fire engine. It comes with sirens and flashing lights, a water squirter, DVD player and LCD screen.
Nancy Smallwood, county grants administrator, said the county has more than 11,500 residents age 5 and younger.
"We are certainly appreciative of this grant that will allow us to reach out to these preschoolers and educate them about fire safety," she said. "We are also very appreciative of Sen. Johnny Isakson's support of this grant."