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M/PIFCD provides safety lights to students

May 1, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Friday morning members of the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Department visited Pine Island Elementary School to hand out safety lights to 240-plus students.

"The department decided, in light of the terrible accident that cost the life of Layla Aiken at a school bus stop in Cape Coral last month, to purchase these strobe lights for all of our PIE students," Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit said.

The lights can to be attached to the student's backpack, jacket or shirt to make them more visible while they wait for the bus. The lights should also be worn when walking or riding a bicycle, the chief said.

Article Photos

Pine Island Elementary kindergarteners Bryan Rodriguez, Brantlee Garrison and Jahren Surgent receive their lights from Fire Chief Mickuleit, left, and other firefighters from the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District.


Principal Steven Hook stressed the importance of students always looking both ways when crossing the street, walking (not running) to the bus, standing at least five giant steps away from the road while waiting for the bus and, finally, stay alert.

"If you remember, the KOA gave the fire department a check a couple of months ago," Mickuleit said. "So when we were looking for the money to pay for these lights, we asked the KOA if it would be O.K. for us to use some of the month they raised. They thought it was a great idea."

The department purchased 500 lights with about half going to the students at PIE.

"We have enough for students at PIE, as well as replacements for students who lose theirs," Mickuleit said. "This is a community-wide program and any other family members who would like one and members of the community who ride bikes or walk their dogs can pick them up at Station #1."

The department will continue the program for all incoming PIE kindergarten students next school year.



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