Mentor Safety Village

Where Children Learn Safety For Life ™




The Mentor Firefighters’ Historical Association is a non-profit organization, organized in 2002 in an effort to reduce childhood injuries, and document the history of the Mentor Fire Department created Mentor Safety Village. With income from membership dues, grants, donations, and fundraising events, improvements are made to make Mentor Safety Village the premier injury prevention site in the entire state of Ohio . Located in the historic district of Mentor on Jackson Street , Safety Village provides fire and injury prevention education to over 900 children per year. Third graders are bussed from local schools on annual field trips, where they participate in interactive safety lessons developed through the National Fire Protection Association’s Risk Watch curriculum.
Risk Watch exposes the nine leading causes of death in children in the United States, all of which are preventable injuries. They include:
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes 
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries 
  • Fires and Burns 
  • Choking, Suffocation and Strangulation 
  • Poisoning
  • Water Safety 
  • Falls
  • Gun Safety 
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
The first phase of construction was the Children’s Safety House. Using an old fire station that was abandoned in 1942, off duty firefighters renovated the building to resemble a small home full of hazards based on the Risk Watch curriculum. Complete with a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and garage, this interactive home allows the students to identify hazards. Technology has improved the educational experience, utilizing remote controls, timers, computers, and even a talking smoke detector. The house can accommodate up to 20 students per room, with simultaneous classes occurring. Several firefighters are trained in the lessons involved, and participate each year. As a result of good planning, the exterior of the building was restored to its original décor. 
The next phase included utilizing Old Fire Station Number 1. Built in 1942, and utilized until 1990, it was only used for storage and had fallen into disrepair. A Community Block Grant repaired the roof leaks, and replaced most of the windows. Volunteers repaired doors and drywall, while city employees completed some electrical work. Electric garage doors were removed, as well as ceiling fans and other fixtures in an effort to make it look more historic. Displays were constructed using antique fire equipment. An antique 1942 Ford fire truck was repaired mechanically, and now runs.  The 1986 Pierce Arrow donated by the City of Mentor is currently being renovated into a mobile museum and safety engine, and will be used at parades, community events, and block parties. 
When the 911 dispatch center was updated in 2003, the old dispatch consoles were moved to the museum and assembled in the rear classroom. Complete with phones, emergency radio equipment, a computer and closed circuit cameras, the students are able to learn more about the 911 system, as well as how an emergency dispatcher works. In the future, a 911 simulator will be tied into the Safety House, allowing the students to call 911, answer the call, and dispatch the appropriate emergency vehicles. Maps will allow them to locate the simulated emergency.  



Long range plans call for a Police Station and Jail to be included in Safety Village . This facility would include a realistic jail cell and police car for educational purposes by the Mentor Police Department. Since the Police already provide bike helmets and car seat checks for the public, they could both be incorporated into the building, thereby providing a permanent location for both services.
With any construction, Safety Village will maintain it’s historical appeal. Wrought iron fences will replace the old chain link fence surrounding the parking lot. Overhead utilities will be run underground, and the parking lot resurfaced. Small city streets and curbs will be painted on the parking lot, including working traffic lights and street signs. A miniature railroad with operating gates, will be added. Safety Village would provide a permanent location for Safety Town, and could also be useful for bike rodeos.  
Mentor Safety Village is a joint venture involving
The City of Mentor
The Mentor Fire Department
The Mentor Firefighters Historical Association
IAFF Mentor Professional Firefighters Local 1845
Mentor Fire Department Womens Auxiliary: Fireflies
Mentor Fire Explorers Post 911
Mentor Safety Village is well on its way to being the best community-based,
all-inclusive safety education program in the world. More importantly,
it will save lives. Our Children’s lives.