ROOSTER RULES THE ROOST AT STATION #21
A rooster accompanies the Fire Station #21 crew when it travels in the truck to weekly meetings at the Bernard Russell Fire Station #20 in central Islamorada. It's a quiet, sympathetic listener, mascot and companion for the hardworking Fire-Rescue team.
Islamorada Fire Chief Terry Abel's a funny guy. Really. He has a great sense of humor. So, is it any wonder that a rooster rules the roost at Station #21 in Founders Park? As such, said rooster travels to weekly meetings at Station #20 with the fire-rescue crew. No doubt it is a good listener and alert from its front-seat perch. However, it is stuffed which means there's no early morning cock-a-doodle-dos to disturb the neighbors.
Growing up, you might remember Sparky, the Dalmatian mascot, that was promoted as a friendly way for youngsters to get to know fire-rescue crew and learn fire safety rules like "Don't play with matches" in hometowns across the country. Sparky introduced fire safety to millions of kids. In fact, Jill Zima (now of Islamorada) at Sacred Heart School in Pittsfield, Mass. won a local "What I have Learned from the Sparky Fire Department" essay contest in second grade, after fire personnel had presented fire safety lessons to the students while bringing Sparky the Dalmatian with them. What an honor they made of that contest.
With much fanfare, Jill was bestowed a savings bond, green banana bike bicycle, and got to ride in the co-pilot seat of a fire truck in the Fourth of July parade on Main Street.
Whether students learn fire-safety with the help of a rooster, Dalmatian or from a well-trained fire-rescue crew, Terry and crew will be the first to remind us to change home fire alarm batteries when you change your clocks during daylight savings time, remove hazardous materials from your home, wear seat belts and stash your phones while driving, as well as other safety rules.
So, if the rooster causes you to do a double-take, know the rooster is not distracting the fire truck driver. It's just Terry's usual humor keeping the team in good spirits.
Read more about Dalmatians as fire mascots here.