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County Comment/Home Chemical Safety Proclaimed

by Norman Bassett,
Washington County Public Information Officer

At its regular meeting on March 23, a week was proclaimed as Home Chemical Safety Week in Washington County and young local artists received awards for their support of home safety.

Each year the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), Emergency Management Agency and the County Special Operations Team host a poster contest about home chemical safety in the elementary schools and a curriculum is presented to students by Special Operations Team and Emergency Management Agency personnel. The program is supported by a number of local businesses, government agencies, the County Commissioners and the Mayor and Council of Hagerstown.

LEPC members John Bentley and Bill Shawley accepted proclamations from the Commissioners’ President Greg Snook and Mayor Bill Breichner of Hagerstown, designating the week of March 21-27, 2004 as Home Chemical Safety Week in Washington County and March 22-28 as the comparable week in the City of Hagerstown.

The County proclamation commended the LEPC for its contributions to the community through programs of emergency planning and notification, Community-Right-To-Know and toxic inventory reporting. The proclamation said that the LEPC Educational committee has done an excellent job since 1996 in disseminating information to schools, businesses and citizens about chemical safety initiatives. This is the fourth year for the Home Chemical Safety program in the Public Schools and approximately 2,000 students have been educated through this program.

Poster contest semi-finalists from 11 elementary schools were presented with certificates and Silver Medals. Top three finalists received a backpack with LEPC logo, filled with gifts provided by LEPC agencies and area businesses.

Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth, Emergency Management Coordinator Verna Brown and Special Operations Chief John Bentley presented the annual awards for the Home Chemical Safety Week poster contest.

The Third Place Winner was Taylor Rockwell from Paramount Elementary who received a Gold Medal, a $50 gift certificate from Toys-R-Us, and a $50 U.S. Savings Bond. Second Place went to Lynsey Miller from Boonsboro Elementary, who received a Gold Medal, $50 Toys-R-Us gift certificate and $50 U.S. Bond. First Place went to Jessica Ambrose from Clear Spring Elementary who won a Gold medal, a $100 gift certificate from Circuit City, and a $100 Savings Bond.

Finalists’ posters are on display in the second floor hallway of the County Administration Building during Home Chemical Safety week. The three top winners’ schools will receive pizza parties for all fourth graders. All participating students will receive an ice cream treat from Good Humor/Breyers. All finalists were treated to lunch provided by Special Operations.

Sponsors for the event were Good Humor Breyers Ice Cream, Ewing Oil, Shawley’s Gas, BJ’s Custom Embroidery, Onsite, Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, Washington County Public Schools, Leitersburg Ladies Auxiliary, and Washington County Ladies Auxiliary, and Washington County Special Operations. Special acknowledgements go to the Washington County Ladies Auxiliary for providing take home thank you gifts to all students and the Leitersburg Ladies Auxiliary for providing T-Shirts.

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