Two shows performed by Miami's firefighters and a poster contest drive home the importance of fire safety education and other lessons such as water and outdoor fire preparedness and safety.

MIAMI – Single file they march into the darkened Coleman Theatre every year and learn lessons that can potentially save their lives. The annual City of Miami Fire Department's Fire Prevention Clown Show entertains and educates Miami elementary school children in an effort to teach them the lifesaving information they will store and use in the event of a fire.

The week of October 8 through 14 is National Fire Prevention Week, and for many years now the Miami Fire Department's firefighters have taken turns acting out important safety tips in fun and informative presentations for area school children.

“They seem to enjoy it,” Miami Firefighter Clown Sparky said. “As long as they take something away from it that's our biggest goal. They have fun and learn something.”

Two shows performed by Miami's firefighters and a poster contest drive home the importance of fire safety education and other lessons such as water and outdoor fire preparedness and safety.

The students' excitement practically shook the theatre with laughter, applause and shouts as they interacted with the firefighter actors in skits that taught valuable lessons. The firefighters took on roles dressed as a forest ranger, clowns, and even a Sasquatch character and performed funny and entertaining skits with powerful safety messages interwoven in a storyline of events at Camp Safety.

It seemed the firefighters had fun too as the children shouted in excitement, giggled and played along.

There was no clowning around when the talk got serious, and the firefighters quizzed the children about safety steps and information.

The Miami students were taught that in fires seconds count and knowing what to do could save lives. The students were taught to draw a map and have an escape route, to practice fire drills, check smoke detectors, designate a meeting place, and to stay low to avoid smoke and much more to keep them safe.

Water safety lessons were also taught, such as using lifejackets or jumping in water feet first to test water depth.

Every year as part of the awareness week the Miami Fire Department invites students to participate in a Fire Safety Week Poster Contest with the winners announced at the last theater presentation.

The 2017 Fire Poster winners and prizes and sponsors are:

First place, Ashton Payton 4th grade - $125 cash from Security Bank Second place, Gracie Blaikie 5th grade - $125 cash from First National Bank Third place, Alexis Moreno 4th grade - $50 cash from Quapaw Fire Fourth place, Maycee Rhinehart 4th grade - $50 cash from Quapaw Fire Fifth place, Savannah Perkins 5th grade - $50 savings account at Welch State Bank Sixth place, Malhayla Mays 5th grade- $50 savings account at Welch State Bank Seventh place, Cameron Herd 4th grade - $50 savings account from Welch State Bank Eighth place, Kyleigh Redden 4th grade - $25 cash from Arvest Bank, Ninth place, Allegra Brown 4th grade - $25 cash from Arvest Bank Tenth place, Bailey Sparks 4th grade - $25 gift card from the Miami Firefighters Local 1969 Eleventh place, Keely Keeton 5th grade- $25 gift card from Judd's Tree Service Twelfth place, Maria Domingo 5th grade - $25 gift card from Bolton Heat and Air Thirteenth place, Kemalian Churo 4th grade - $25 gust certificate from Metal Fab & Trophy Fourteenth place, Ava Adkinson 5th grade - $25 gift certificate form Metal Fab & Trophy.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at mstotts@miaminewsrecord.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.