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      Fire Prevention Week decreasing fires in the U.P.

      Stop, drop and roll. They're lessons we've all learned this time of the year.

      It's Fire Safety and Prevention Week and fire crews across the nation are, once again, stressing that message. In many cases, it's making a big difference even in some smaller U.P. communities.

      "We get in our full gear and put on our air packs, helmets, or glasses," says Fire Chief Mike Yon. "We let the kids understand we're not scary. We sound a little silly, but we're their friends. They'll come to us, so they're not hiding."

      It's just part of their ongoing mission to keep the community safe, and so far it's been working. The Wakefield program allows the kids to see the gear up close and tour the fire trucks.

      In the last 15 years, the department has seen a decrease in the amount of fires started by children.

      "We didn't have a lot; we had a couple a year, and we're not having any now, and that's great," Yon said.

      They've also heard the results through parents; children are coming home from programs like this, asking to create emergency exit plans.

      Wednesday, more than 150 three to six year olds were reached, getting a chance to step into the shoes of these local heroes.

      "I like to go in the fire truck!" said Skylor DeRosso of Gogebic County Head Start.

      "You stop, drop and roll!" said Tanner LaMaide of Gogebic County Head Start.

      This year the department received a $1,500 grant for prevention supplies from the TransCanada Pipelines. The man hours provided for the programs, are as always, volunteer.

      The department plans to further expand their prevention programs. This year they'll be bringing their trucks to local schools to conduct fire drills.