Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Hundreds of elementary students’ fire safety posters were submitted to the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office last fall, but only 12 were chosen to be on display at the Ohio State Fair. One belongs to 9-year-old Olivia Ramey, illustrating the importance of fire safety and cooking with an adult.
Last fall, Portsmouth Elementary participated in a statewide fire safety art contest. The school submitted 200 entries to the Portsmouth Fire Department, and the Portsmouth Fire Department selected 15 — three from each grade — to advance to the State Fire Marshal. From all of the finalists submitted from across the state, the Fire Marshal has selected only a dozen to be featured at the Ohio State Fair and on the State Fire Marshal’s website.
Third grader Olivia Ramey, at Portsmouth Elementary School, was one of those 12 students.
“She always has a really good eye for detail and very good craftsmanship with her work. She’s a good little art student,” said Jill Kolar, art teacher at Portsmouth Elementary.
Jason Corwin from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Capt. Eric Green from the Portsmouth Fire Department paid a visit to Olivia at Portsmouth Elementary to deliver her award. She was given a blue ribbon and certificate, as well as two smoke detectors and passes to the Ohio State Fair.
“Olivia did her picture on cooking with a parent,” Corwin said to the elementary art class on Tuesday. “We’re getting older and we can start cooking our own food, but we should probably keep some help and make sure we have somebody there with us because we don’t want any accidents to happen.”
Corwin said the leading cause of house fires is cooking, and Olivia was the only winning entry this year from his entire 10-county region of southern Ohio.
“We see fires all the time across the United States, and it’s very important that we get out and get the message to students what to do if they have a fire. Hopefully they don’t, but if they do have a fire we hope they know what to do,” Corwin said.
Olivia is the daughter of Lara and Jeff Ramey, of Portsmouth.
“We are very proud and excited for her. She’s pretty artistic,” Lara Ramey said.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.