SPARTA, NJ-The Junior Women’s Club of Sparta held its 23 annual Safety Village from June 23 through 26.  For the second year it is being held at Hilltop Country Day school. 

“Hilltop has been wonderful,” said organizer Janelle Daly.  “They have generously donated the use of their facility.  Additionally, they have provided half day camp to the children of the Safety Village volunteer at no cost.”

Approximately 60 children were enrolled in this year’s program that teaches safety lessons in many different areas.  There were 22 volunteers staffing the program.   The students move through a series of rotations where they have the opportunity to learn safety lessons from invited guests, play games, work on crafts and have a snack. 

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John Sachok, EMT, Kyleigh Koteras EMS and Dave Johnson EMS of the Sparta Volunteer Ambulance Corps brought their ambulance.  The children were invited on board to see all of the equipment and ask questions.  They also got to see the gurney and stair chair from the ambulance.  “This stair chair is one of the best pieces of equipment we have.  It allows us to bring people down stairs safely,” said Johnson.

Officer Rios brought the St Barnabas Fire Safety House, sponsored by the St Barnabas Burn Foundation.  Rios showed the children how to Stop, Drop and Roll to extinguish clothing that may have caught on fire.  He also took them into the house where they discussed smoke detectors, candle and kitchen safety, and how to escape a fire.

Lew LaBar, a Sussex County Sheriff’s DARE officer brought the DARE car.  The retired Marine was popular with the children.  They listened to LaBar discuss stranger danger and were excited to see inside the DARE car that had been confiscated in a drug arrest.

Bicycle safety was explained by Bell Fessy from TransOptions.  They played bicycle safety bingo with enthusiasm.  The game facilitated discussion of various aspects of biking and helmet safety. 

Jennifer Enberg, Lieutenant of the New Jersey Search and Rescue organization was there to talk with the children about her work.  Founded in 1950 originally part of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, they now focus solely on search and rescue.  There are currently 50 active members, many with more than 20 years of experience.  There are five Sparta residents on the team, including the chief, deputy chief and a lieutenant. 

Enberg said, “NJSAR provides full search and rescue services, including incident management and search planning, ground resources, man-tracking, K9, and mountain rescue.  NJSAR is a member of the National Association for Search and Rescue, is one of only three teams on the east coast that is fully accredited by the Mountain Rescue Association, and is a member of the Search and Rescue Council of NJ, the NY Federation of Search and Rescue and the PA Search and Rescue Council.”

There were also representatives from Sparta Karate to talk about personal protection.  First Student Bus Company was there to demonstrate bus safety.  New Jersey Fish and Wildlife spoke about what to do if they encounter a bear. 

“The funds raised by this program will be donated to charitable organizations in and around our community,” said Daly.