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Surrey Fire Fighters Join Anti-Bullying Campaign

March 20, 2013 – The members of Surrey, BC Local 1271 helped deliver an important message to local students February 27 by actively participating in the City’s Anti-Bullying Day activities.

With the City’s blessing, all 20 on-duty Surrey fire crews visited a school in their area that day, where they interacted with students and took part in activities designed to raise awareness about bullying and teach skills to help prevent and stop it.

The fire fighters were one of many community groups and individuals who took part. The Surrey local’s participation was coordinated by Secretary Mark McRae and member Kevin Coplin. McRae says participating in the initiative was simply an extension of their other community work, some of which was already directed at kids.

“We thought we should get involved and assist with that message. It’s something we all believe in and as fire fighters can help with. It was just another angle for us,” McRae says, adding the local plans to expand its participation in the event next year.

Activities the fire fighters participated in included skits, playing Twister – to teach interconnectedness  - and giving out awards. The crews wore pink anti-bullying T-shirts in the schools during the day, as did crews back in the stations.

Awareness about bullying has been growing across Canada in recent years. Observed on the last Wednesday in February, Anti-Bullying Day started as a protest over a bullying incident at a Nova Scotia high school. The initiative includes wearing pink T-shirts to symbolize taking a stand against bullying. The British Columbia initiative this year also paid tribute to Amanda Todd, a 16-year-old who committed suicide in October 2012 after being bullied and tormented online and at her school.

The Anti-Bullying Day’s message included the fact that while bullying is often seen as a problem mainly in schools, it can exist among adults as well, in such settings as workplaces and in families. Local 1271’s participation was noted by the media, including a Joy TV segment posted on YouTube.