COLUMBUS — Youths from local schools dressed the part by wearing plastic firefighter helmets during the Junior Fire Patrol parade.

The event held Thursday evening in downtown Columbus featured students from schools that participate in the program, which was established in the community more than 60 years ago.

The students marched along with firefighters, emergency vehicles and firetrucks. Some handed out candy to the crowd while others rode on decorated floats. A few students chanted “every second counts,” a reminder that when a fire breaks out, seconds can make the difference in escaping safely.

Junior Fire Patrol is geared toward students in fifth grade in area schools. Youths meet once a month to learn about fire safety. The parade, held during Fire Prevention Week, traditionally kicks off the program.

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