Children attending New Image Youth Center’s Safety Day at Children’s Safety Village pose with an Orange County firefighter.

The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, what to do in a house fire, how to report an 9-1-1 emergency and water safety were some of the lessons children and adults learned at New Image Youth Center‘s Safety Day event sponsored by OUC.  Held Oct. 16, 2021, at Children’s Safety Village of Central Florida, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent childhood injuries and fatalities through safety education, the event featured firefighters with Orange County Fire Rescue Station 30 and their water rescue truck.

In an onsite “home” firefighters use for training, Lt. Michael Blattner of Station 30 told children and their parents that gas-powered generators are to be used with extreme caution and should never be placed indoors or in unventilated areas. If a generator is in use and you begin to feel light-headed and nauseous or you have trouble breathing, that’s probably because you’re inhaling colorless and odorless carbon monoxide exhaust fumes, he said. What do you do? Flee for fresh air, he advised. And if you’re in a house fire? The only thing you should do is get out of the house as fast as possible, then call 9-1-1, Lt. Blattner emphasized.

New Image Youth Center Safety Day attendees and Orange County Fire Rescue Station 30 members

The discussion about carbon monoxide poisoning was particularly relevant to members of New Image Youth Center (NIYC). In June, one of their own, 16-year-old Devon Galvin, and two other people died in a Parramore apartment that had been powered by a gas generator operating in an unventilated space.

“Learn something from this situation. Learn how to remain safe. The legacy of Devon remains strong,” urged Shanta Barton-Stubbs, executive director of NIYC, while standing by a photo of the late teen.

Shanta Barton-Stubbs, executive director of New Image Youth Center, reminds children and parents of the tragic loss of Devon Galvin (picture on desk), a NIYC member who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in June.

Founded by Barton-Stubbs, NIYC is a nonprofit that provides academic, health and wellness, social development and other services to at-risk youths in the Parramore community. It’s located in OUC’s Empowerment for the Future Zone, an area encompassing the 32805 ZIP code (it runs from I-4 west to John Young Parkway and Colonial Drive south to Kaley Avenue). OUC’s Empowerment Zone Taskforce seeks to help revitalize the disadvantaged community by leveraging OUC’s resources and partnerships to enhance educational opportunities, health and wellness programs, jobs training and sustainable housing.

Brent Moore, executive director of Children’s Safety Village, led a session on 9-1-1 calls, with children taking turns using play phones to report “emergencies” (inset photo), while swimming instructor Karen Faust with Precision Aquatics conducted water safety sessions by the Village’s indoor pool. Queen Massaline, Sr. Community Engagement Coordinator, was on hand to represent OUC and provided boxed lunches to attendees and firefighters.