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Fire carnival celebrates safety, prevention knowledge

Participants in the Miss Winfield Fire Prevention Contest do not need any fire safety experience or training. The Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Company held its annual Miss Winfield competition Monday on the first night of its fire carnival.

Participants in the Miss Winfield Fire Prevention Contest do not need any fire safety experience or training.

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By the time they meet with judges at the annual fire company carnival, however, the girls have studied that year's topics and prepared presentations about an assigned issue.

Lily MacMaster, who was selected as Little Miss Winfield in the contest's 6-10 age group, said she wrote down the questions she might be asked and had her family members quiz her.

"I pretended I was in an interview and that's how I practiced," she said.

MacMaster said she already had some fire safety knowledge because she has won first place in a poster contest at Winfield Elementary School for the last two years.

"I school, I like talking in front of the class," she said, though she admitted the crowd gathered at the stage Monday night was different.

Competitors in each age group completed a presentation on an assigned topic and met with judges individually, then answered random questions on stage.

Organizer Sandra McKenzie said the judges told her all the participants did an excellent job and they hated to only choose one from each age group.

Junior Miss Winfield winner Carla Clagett answered questions about what to do if your clothes are on fire – stop, drop, cover your face, and roll – and fire prevention topics everyone should know.

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Clagett's competitors in the 11 to 14 age range were quizzed about safety with candles and what to be aware of when staying in a hotel or motel.

Stephanie Broussard, last year's Junior Miss Winfield, said she has spent a lot of time at the department because both her parents are volunteers. She was Little Miss Winfield two years ago then won Junior Miss Winfield last year before deciding to take a break.

"I felt that I should be able to give another girl a chance because I'll be here for the events anyway," she said.

Broussard plans to enter again next year in the junior age group.

Jennifer Franklin, who has won Miss Winfield in the 16-24 age range twice, said participating in the contest is good for the young girls.

"It's an experience," she said. "It helps with public speaking. It helps with talking to strangers."

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Franklin, a volunteer with the department, said she enjoyed her time as Miss Winfield because she worked with all age ranges but particularly with children. The reigning Miss Winfields visit schools, attend the department's open house and promote fire safety in the community.

Kelsea Cimabue, who won the Miss Winfield crown for the second straight year, said she has enjoyed visiting schools, particularly taking the safety trailer to the local elementary schools.

"I really just had such a great time last year and I learned so much," she said.

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If you go

What: Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Company carnival

When: 6-11 p.m. through July 11

Where: Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Company carnival grounds, 1320 W. Old Liberty Road

For more information and a detailed schedule, visit http://www.winfieldvfd.org/content/carnival/

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