Monday, March 16, 2009

Mommy Blogger Monday...Meet Dayna (a contest, too)

Ladies, please join me in welcoming Dayna, blogging since July 27, 2006! Clarksville, Arkansas http://www.childrensbookauthordaynahilton.blogspot.com/ Dayna is a firefighter and fire safety educator. Her passion in life is to help keep children and their caregivers fire safe. You can pretty much say that she lives and breathes fire safety! Photo courtesy of PBS KIDS Sprout How long have you been a firefighter? I became a firefighter with Johnson County RFD #1 in Clarksville in August 2000. Then Dayna did something really amazing. Something that has the potential to touch tens of thousands of lives. Tell us more about what you did, Dayna: I wrote a children’s fire safety book, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog. Recently, the book has been credited with helping save the lives of two children and their two families. These two children said that they knew what to do because of what Sparkles taught them. What a good dog! What an awesome testimony to how children's books impact our lives on a daily basis. Read to your kids people! They might just save your life some day. Why did you start blogging? At that time, I was blogging to motivate myself to lose weight for the filming of the PBS KIDS Sprout fire safety tips. Now my pure motivation to blog is to share the importance of fire safety. My children’s author blog is more detailed and shares the exciting journey that Sparkles and I have taken since our children’s book, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, was released. Sparkles loves blogging as well and her blog is geared toward young children. We also have another blog that we are very excited about~ askafirefighter.net. Children may submit videos of questions that they have for firefighters on this site. Then, real firefighters from all across the country will answer their questions! If any of your readers would like to have their children submit their questions, Sparkles would love it! We have many other blogs, but these are our favorites. Tell us what "sparked" the idea for your book. (sorry for the pun! LOL!) One of the things that I had always wanted to do since I was young was to write a children’s book. One day, as I was putting on Sparkles' red vest before a fire safety presentation, I took one look at her and noticed her tail was wagging faster than normal. And, that look of excitement in her eyes was amazing that day. She was so happy! That look has always been there, but it hit me like a bolt of lighting at that very moment. There was my book standing on four legs right in front of me! I knew then and there that my book was going to be about Sparkles and her love for helping teach fire safety. How did you and Sparkles meet? Sparkles was rescued from a home with 62 other dogs by the Dalmatian Assistance League of Tulsa. My husband and I adopted her in May of 2003 and we have been so blessed to have such an amazing member of our family. We love her to pieces and are so proud of all that she has done to help keep children and their caregivers fire safe. It is like she was born to help teach fire safety! Who would have thought that a dog that led such a miserable existence would have since participated in a Congressional briefing, have been mentioned in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Community Preparedness Sub-Committee and be on FOX and Friends? Sparkles has also reached millions of children and their caregivers as her fire safety tips appear on PBS KIDS Sprout (geared toward pre-schoolers and their caregivers) are on Sprout On Demand after Fireman Sam. These videos along with activity sheets and fun games are also online on the PBS KIDS Sprout page at http://www.sproutonline.com/firesafety. The March/April issue of FIDO Friendly magazine (which was just released), has an article about Sparkles. She will also be in upcoming issues of DogSport, Tulsa Pets and Little Rock Family magazines. What is the message you want every parent to know? Parents, fire is not something that happens to other people. It can happen to you. Be prepared. Take time to share with your children what to do should a fire occur in your home. Make sure that your children recognize the sound of a smoke alarm. Test your smoke alarm once a month and change your batteries twice a year. Work with your children to have a plan. Together, draw an escape map, noting two ways out of every room. Make sure to have a meeting place. A meeting place can be a tree, a mailbox or a fence, for example. Practice your plan. So, we know you are a Mommy to Sparkles, how many (human) children do you have? I have one son, Michael, who is 22 and also a firefighter. He is attending the University of Arkansas where he plays tuba for the Razorback Marching Band. I have four other “children”: Sparkles, Spanner, Chief and a brand new dog (all Dalmatians). I hope to have a contest to help me name the newest addition to the fire safety family very soon. Do you work outside the home? In addition to owning my own publishing company, Firehouse Dog Publishing, LLC , Sparkles and I travel all over the United States sharing fire safety with children and their caregivers. I also enjoy spending time educating firefighters about fire safety education. Wow! Could we please give Dayna a round of applause...Sparkles, too! What amazing things they are doing to keep children and their families safe. I absolutely love seeing moms taking it upon themselves to change the world around them.
Dayna has offered to run a contest along with MoBlogMo...here are the details...
If you test your smoke alarm and work together with your family to make an escape map*, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog book. This book is a very special "Limited Edition" and is signed by Firefighter Dayna, Firefighter Michael (Dayna's son who is also in the book), and "pawed" by Sparkles! You will also receive a First Alert Smoke Alarm, an audio book (made by three generations of firefighters and Sparkles) and a Rush and Rescue Firetruck. When you have tested your smoke alarm and made an escape map, enter your name in the "Comment" section to be entered in the drawing for the prizes.
DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY @ NOON (EST) *Visit http://www.firefighterdayna.com/safety_tips.html to learn how to make an escape map
If you would like to contact Dayna just drop her a line @daynark@gmail.com Wow! How amazing Sunday nights have become for me...I get to introduce you to some of the greatest "movers and shakers" on the web!
Hey, don't forget to subscribe to get the "SANITY" scoop throughout the week and to join us for MoBlogMo! Also, if you would like to be a FEATURED MOM...leave your comment with your email address @ this post!
Peace.

12 comments:

Rose Vanden Eynden said...

Great to meet Dayna and Sparkles! I love this new addition to your blog!

Lora said...

Dayna amazes me! I am in such awe of firefighters, I think they are our town's best heroes. Police too, but not in the same way.

Also, my son is OBSESSED with the fire safety tips on Sprout. We have Firefighter Stephanie though, she is a local girl. I'll keep an eye out for Dayna's book.

Hally said...

We didn't know that you 'knew' Dayna. We watch her all the time at our house!!!! During Fireman Sam, she and Sparkles teach my boys all about 'get low and go.' Although my son will occasionally sleep with his asthma mouthpiece in his hand, (it's his 'firemask') so that he's ready.
Please pass along our thanks to Dayna and Sparkles...her tips are real and they are really helping our boys learn about it. I so tickled that you 'know her'...headed to her blog right now.

Bella said...

Welcome Dayna I will have my husband test the Alarm on his lunch I am too pregnant to be climbing on things! LOL

J... said...

At our house we test the smoke alarms regullarly (when I cook!) and both of the kids know what to do in case of a fire. I have been thinking about a new fire escape map since we are remodeling the basement and the kids rooms will be moved down there. This will be a great opportunity to get that done!

Patti said...

Michelle,
Funny I should read this today. Gracie had her tonsils and adenoids out last week and we have been home in our jammies today. Lo and behold, the fire alarm goes off and I knew it was just a false alarm (we live on a college campus) but we can never be sure, so I grabbed two barefoot, pj clad kids, one dog and truck ourselves outside.

We have already discussed our fire plan (something I grew up practicing OFTEN since we lived at the restaurant), and while we were outside this morning, we looked at our fire escape and just last week we realized that having a bin of toys in front of that window was a very bad idea.
So we are keeping FIRE SAFE!!

Loved your interview!

Patti

MaBunny said...

Oh wow, Dayna and Sparkles sound amazing! Will definitely go over and check out her web page!

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

Thanks for another great feature! Dayna seems awesome! Heading to her page now!

manuelsmommy said...

Wow, Dayna and Sparkles are pretty impressive! :)After reading your interview and reading about Dayna, I went home, we tested our fire alarm, and made a fire escape plan. My little boy would LOVE Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog book! Great post! As always it's neat reading about so many amazing moms!

AllBeehive said...

My husband and I just discussed our escape route as the only 2 exits in our house are in the same entryway. But now we have a plan. Thank you.

Karla with a K said...

Dayna,
We need to re-talk about this in our home. How nice to have such a deeply kindled passion for something you're naturally good at. (Kind of like Michelle.)

Fire Restoration said...

Another fire safety tip is to be sure to educate your children on how to call 911. Practicing calling 911, and planning what to say can help your child be more confident if the need ever arises. Preparing your family for an emergency situation is the only way they will know what to do, and these fire safety tips might be the thing that save you, or someone in your family.