Imagine you are sleeping in your home in the middle of the night -- suddenly a shrill screech breaks the silence and wakes you.

As you emerge from a deep sleep, you quickly realize that the sound is your smoke alarm. When you open your door to check on your family, smoke rushes into your room. Would you know what to do? Would your kids know?

Now imagine you are shopping. As you are looking for the correct size clothing, you realize your child is no longer standing next to you. Would your child know what to do if a stranger offered to take him or her for a walk?

It is the first day of school, and the big yellow bus pulls up in front of your house. You are a 5-year-old who is nervous about going to school. Thankfully, you are ready because you went to Safety Town.

The Jackson Township Professional Firefighters Association, in cooperation with the Jackson Township Fire Department, the Grove City Division of Police and South-Western City School District will once again bring our Safety Town program to Grove City.

This is an opportunity to teach young children important safety lessons they otherwise might miss.

When participating in Safety Town, children learn what to do in the event of an emergency, how to call for help and what information they need to give when they call 911. They work on memorizing their home addresses and phone numbers for their parents.

Children learn important safety rules for while they are in school as well as on the playground, and pet and animal safety.

As a 15-year firefighter with the Jackson Township Fire Department and longtime advocate for fire safety education at all ages, I believe the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"

The goal of Safety Town is to teach children a variety of important safety concepts while also giving them a preview of what school will be like in order to help alleviate anxiety.

I have seen many situations during my career where simple safety awareness could have prevented a tragedy.

The Jackson Township Professional Firefighters, as well as our primary sponsors, Jackson Township and the city of Grove City, have worked hard to provide this program at no charge to the children of Grove City, Jackson Township and the village of Urbancrest who are entering kindergarten in 2018.

One significant source of funding is our Mother's Day flower sale, set up in the parking lot in front of Bed Bath & Beyond, 1747 Stringtown Road, which starts the Wednesday in May before Mother's Day. We also get support from local businesses such as PODS and Walmart.

Safety Town will be held weekdays from June 7-14 with two sessions, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 to 3:15 p.m. For more information and to register, go to

Registration will remain open until June 1. This program is limited to children who are entering kindergarten in the fall of 2018.

Greg Tussing is a Jackson Township firefighter/paramedic and Safety Town director.