HAMBURG-The Firefighter Phil program came to Hamburg Elementary School last Friday as children in grades K-5 were treated to a live and animated presentation reinforcing fire safety and prevention. "We have had Policeman Phil for many years, but this is our first year for Firefighter Phil," said Jeanette Ericsson, school principal. "We work closely with Hamburg Fire Department and thought this would be a fun way to review things the children have been learning about fire safety. The wonderful thing is that this project is funded entirely by local merchants and the town, so it doesn't cost the school anything." Firefighter Phil is presented by Creative Safety Products, a national organization whose aim is to educate children about fire safety and prevention in a way that they will not only understand but will remember. "We use music, magic and puppetry to get our point across, and it's a very effective way to reinforce what they have already learned in school," said Steve Taylor, presenter of the Hamburg Firefighter Phil. A Hamburg firefighter of 14 years, Bob Russell has three children in the Elementary School and is responsible for the yearly fall fire prevention program at the school. He was instrumental in making Hamburg the first school in Sussex County to have the Firefighter Phil program. "October is fire safety month, so every year I come in to the school and teach the children about fire safety and prevention," Russell said. "The kids definitely remember what they are taught, and I have even seen where a child has saved their whole family because they know what to do in a fire situation," he went on. "As much as the children remember we thought it would be a good idea to reinforce the information in this fun way and hope to make this an annual event," he added.