“Cook Like a Firefighter” competition raises awareness about kitchen fire safety

Fire departments across Arizona come together to raise money for the Arizona Burn Foundation.

PHOENIX — Firefighters across Arizona are pulling out all the stops for a big cook-off competition called “Cook Like a Firefighter.”

It’s not just about culinary skills, it’s to raise awareness about kitchen fire safety.

“We invited all of the fire departments across the state of Arizona,” said Mik Milem, Chief Operations Officer at the Arizona Burn Foundation, an organization working to help burn survivors and their families and raise awareness about fire safety.

While a lot of their regular community events are on hold due to COVID-19, they decided to improvise.

“We came up with this idea of doing a ‘cook like a firefighter’ competition,” he said.

The competition, a fun and mouth-watering way to get the community involved and educated on kitchen fire safety, shows support for the state firefighters.

Each department put together their favorite station staple recipe to show off and fight for the prize.

More than a dozen fire departments jumped on board and they had a lot of fun filming in the kitchen, cooking up tasty dishes.

“We told them, be fun but also put some fire safety and cooking safety instructions in there… firefighters lived up to that challenge,” said Milem.

Firefighters made everything from simple pancakes to tri-tip sandwiches.

“Energy balls, I think there’s two different kinds of burgers,” he said.

It’s easy to get involved and vote for your favorite recipe too, by donating to the Arizona Burn Foundation.

“All the money goes back to the fire departments by providing them free smoke alarms and free children’s education programing for them to go out into the community with,” he said.

The event is based on learning new recipes while providing necessary safety tips.

“To help prevent injuries from ever taking place,” he said.

To check out the recipes and vote for your favorite, visit the competition website.

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Kawartha Lakes, Scugog raising awareness to prevent kitchen fires

KAWARTHA LAKES/SCUGOG: The 2020 edition of Fire Prevention Week runs from Sunday, October 4th until Saturday, October 10th, and local fire departments are preparing to handle the occasion a little bit differently.

The City of Kawartha Lakes is holding scavenger hunts at 13 parks and outdoor spaces in the municipality.

“All you have to do is, visit one of our participating park locations, find the seven secret safety phrases and complete our online form. If you submit the phrases correctly, you’ll be entered into our draw. Find the clue poster, scan the phrase’s QR code and the secret phrase will appear on your phone,” a poster for the event explained.

The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

Kawartha Lakes fire prevention inspector and public educator Alana Erwood told The Standard why they decided to run this type of event.

“We chose the scavenger hunt as a fun social distancing activity that can be completed as a family. Each scavenger hunt clue contains a phrase to be entered online, along with kitchen fire safety tips,” she stated.

Ms. Erwood said the theme of this year’s prevention week is timely because “cooking fires continue to be the leading cause of home fires in Ontario.”

For more information on participating locations, and how to enter the contest, go online to www.kawarthalakes.ca.

Meanwhile, Scugog Township is doing online activities and contests.

Residents are encouraged to go to my.scugog.ca/firesafety to get fire safety tips and enter contests, like the junior fire chief for a day contest and the colouring contest.

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada, and we know that cooking fires can be prevented! Please join us for a week of fun and education to embrace Fire Prevention Week, virtually,” read a statement from Kristy-Lynn Pankhurst, Scugog’s Fire Prevention Officer.

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LSU Garden News: Go for the pinks in plants for breast cancer awareness month | Home/Garden

October is all about pink in support of breast cancer awareness. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer. Men also can get it.

What does this have to do with gardening and why are we talking about it in September? Our landscapes are an extension of our homes and a statement to those around us.

Why not honor breast cancer patients and survivors by going pink in your flower beds and getting a head start this month? That way you can show your support and bring awareness to this devastating disease.

Luckily, when it comes to pink, we have many options from which to choose, including plants with pink foliage. Many Louisiana Super Plant selections come in shades of pink.

If you don’t want to make a long-term commitment, place plants in small containers or try planting annuals that can be changed out as the seasons turn. 

Both Amazon and Jolt dianthus are excellent Louisiana Super Plant selections for fall that come in an array of pinks. Amazon comes in Amazon Rose Magic and Amazon Neon Cherry, and Jolt comes in Cherry, Pink and Pink Magic. Ranging from delicate pink to hot pink, both can make quite a statement.

These plants have dark green foliage, perform best in full to part sun and are great for attracting butterflies in late fall and early spring. They make great cut flowers that you can share with friends or family members fighting the disease and to help celebrate survivors.

Do you want to go all-in and show your support? Make a big impact with another Louisiana Super Plant, the bright, prolific Supertunia Vista Bubblegum. This mighty petunia is known for its long-lasting bloom season. It spreads, growing up to 3 feet in all directions, with a height of 16 to 24 inches. It prefers full sun to produce the maximum amount of flowers.

If you want something more permanent, try shrubs. Three fall-blooming Louisiana Super Plants with pink flowers are Conversation Piece azalea, Aphrodite althea (rose of Sharon) and Luna hibiscus. All three make excellent shrubs for sunny areas in the lawn and will bloom in the fall, year after year.

Dream roses and Belinda’s Dream roses are both Louisiana Super Plant selections that produce pink blooms in the fall. Belinda’s Dream is another superb cut flower to share with family and friends.

Penny Mac hydrangea is also a Louisiana Super Plant. It’s a repeat-blooming hydrangea that can produce large flower clusters of pink or blue beginning in late spring and continuing to bloom on new growth into the summer and fall. To influence flower color, treat the soil around the bushes with lime and superphosphate in March and again in October each year. Your soil should be a pH of 7-8.5 to achieve the pink color. It may take years for the shift to pink to occur if your plant typically blooms blue.

Many warm-season flowers planted in late spring

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His Whole House founder Molly McNamara shares her story of loss to build suicide awareness


Trying to navigate through a maze blind without legs — this is how Molly McNamara describes the feelings of pain and hopelessness accompanying the trauma of suicide.

McNamara is the founder and executive director of the Cypress-based nonprofit His Whole House, a ministry that uses a faith-based approach to help trauma survivors. The organization works to “break the cycle of trauma and shame” through training, mentoring and counseling. Among its clients are people whose loved ones have attempted or carried out suicide, as well as individuals who may themselves struggle with suicidal thoughts.


“We are not a crisis intervention ministry…however, what I’ve come to understand is there is a long-term recovery period for all of us — including myself,” said McNamara, who had herself overcome attempts of suicide as a teenager.



As a suicide survivor, McNamara will be sharing her story of loss and resilience during a live online talk Sept. 30 in observance of National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.


On March 31, 1998, McNamara said she received the most horrendous news of her life — her son, Adam Thomas, had died of suicide.

“It was in that moment that I became the most reluctant survivor of suicide and truly felt a very, very dark cloud come over,” she said. “It had been one of several traumas that had occurred within a short period of time. I’d lost both my parents just months before…and this was my only living child. It was something that took me to the bottom of my ability to function and I felt as if I was in a maze, blind without legs.”


She lived in the oppressive shadow of that dark cloud for 11 years. She finally came to recognize that what she’d experienced was trauma — the trauma of loss. She founded His Whole House in 2010.

“When I came out of the silence of my own pain and trauma and started the 501(c)3, my intention was

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