Behind The Badge: Sandy Fire Department’s puppet team teaches kids serious safety messages with a silly show

Local News

SANDY (ABC4 News) – October is Fire Prevention Month and the busiest time of the year for two members of the Sandy Fire Department who try to prevent fires with songs and puppets.

Recently 50 preschoolers watched a Thursday morning puppet show at Sandy Fire Station 31.

“The water in the tub where you scrub a dub..that can be hot too,” the puppets sang.

Behind the scenes, it was the Sandy FD Community Risk Reduction Team of Lenore Corey and Kimberly Hornberger delivering the magic and the message with the help of Freddie the Fire Truck.


“Hello boys and girls,” the remote-controlled truck says. “How are you today?


“It brings their anxiety and fear level down through the puppets and the songs,” Corey told Behind The Badge. “It’s a really easy way for us to educate the kids and help them remember those things and then we build on that.”

It’s the perfect job for Corey who used to be a kindergarten and 1st-grade teacher before becoming an emergency medical technician and a firefighter.

“I had always wanted to be a firefighter my whole life,” she said. “Because of a couple of surgeries, I had in my neck and back I wasn’t able to do that part anymore.”

So she hung up her helmet and picked up a puppet, teaming with Hornberger to create silly shows with a serious message.

“We’ve seen deaths. We’ve seen injuries,” Hornberger said. “We’ve seen a lot of sad things that happen fire is played with.”

That’s why she says every family needs to have a fire plan.

“Last year in the United States there were fires at school but not a single person died because every single person knew what to do,” Hornberger explains. “But at home, 3,400 people died because a lot of people don’t know what to do. That is a big message we try to get out.”

“Yes, our job is to fight fire, our job is to help you when you’re hurt or sick,” Corey said. “But our job for all firefighters that work for Sandy and other fire departments is to make sure that we are educating the community, that we’re preventing things from happening.”

Kimberly and Lenore also conduct programs at all of Sandy’s elementary, middle and high schools and they even teach adults emergency response and CPR classes but for those, they leave the puppets back at the fire station. 

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