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Johnson County fire safety team attends presidential forum

President Obama and former President George H. W. Bush at the Presidential Forum on Service, which was attended by two representatives from the Johnson Country RFD Fire Safety Team
President Obama and former President George H. W. Bush at the Presidential Forum on Service
President Obama highlighted the national importance of service

On October 16, two representatives from the Johnson County Rural Fire District (RFD) #1 Fire Safety Team attended the Presidential Forum on Service, held at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. The event was hosted by the Points of Light Institute to discuss the role of government in volunteer service, especially under the current administration's leadership.

The Forum was attended by many notable public figures, including President Barack Obama and former President George H. W. Bush. President Obama summed up the current government's viewpoint by stating, "Service is integral to our national priorities."

The Points of Light Institute began under former President George H.W. Bush to encourage service and civic engagement. The Institute has been supported by every president since. One of the Institute's tasks is distributing the Daily Points of Light Award, which honors individuals and volunteer groups that have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities. Each weekday, one volunteer or volunteer effort in the country receives a Daily Point of Light Award.

The Johnson Country RFD #1 Fire Safety Team received the award in 2006 for reaching over 42,000 people with their fire prevention activities, which also resulted in a 34 percent decrease in fire-related residential property loss in their own community. The Fire Safety Team, which is comprised of Fire Corps volunteers and the departments' firefighters, was one of only 150 previous Points of Light award winners to be invited to the Forum.

Dayna Hilton, the department's Public Fire & Life Safety Educator, had the opportunity to speak to the over 2,000 attendees to describe the efforts of the Fire Safety Team. Kari Wood, National Fire Corps Program Coordinator and past Director of the RFD #1 Fire Corps program, was also at the Forum to discuss Fire Corps.

"It was a tremendous honor to be invited," said Hilton, "I was grateful that Kari and I had the opportunity to share our experience with everyone present so that they would know what a tangible difference that not only firefighters, but also Fire Corps volunteers, can make in a community."

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