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Connecting TMS Students with the NFD

What is One Newport?  One Newport is a local non-profit partner, Fab Newport, connecting with Technology Teacher Amie Shinego at the Thompson Middle School to assist the Middle School with the development of a maker space in the school, which is used to help supply the Newport Fire Department with vinyl letters for their helmets.  Maker spaces are spaces where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials such as 3-D printers and laser vinyl cutters.  During the recent Broadway Street Fair, Amie Shinego had several Thompson middle school students working on displaying their prowess using the graphic vinyl cutter. During the fair, Captain Harp Donnelly of the Newport Fire Department noticed the work the Thompson students were doing.  Captain Donnelly had been searching for a replacement vendor for vinyl letters the Newport Fire Department used on their helmets. Captain Donnelly reached out to the Technology Education Program’s lead teacher to see if the students would be willing to help the fire department bring the tradition of personalized helmets back.

The Officers and Firefighters of the Newport Fire Department had a long standing tradition of having their initials on their helmets.  These markings helped the firefighters to quickly identify their gear and more importantly it assisted in quickly recognizing individuals and crews at an emergency scene.  Over time, as members of the department retired and new Firefighters were hired, the practice of lettering Firefighter’s helmets had all but disappeared.

The students at Thompson Middle School’s Technology Education Program, under the direction of the program’s lead teacher Miss Amie Shinego, agreed to the request and volunteered to use their vinyl sheet printer to, once again, create lettering for the Firefighter’s helmets.  The lettering will be the same traditional style that was used in the past. 

This has been a great opportunity for the students involved in the Technology Education Program at Thompson Middle School to use their talents to contribute to our community and help the members of the Newport Fire Department to perform their job more safely during emergency operations.

Three members of the fire department have children that are students at Thompson Middle School.  All three of those schoolchildren have teamed up with a student partner and those three teams have spearheaded this project at the middle school.

On Friday June 23rd, the pupils involved delivered the completed lettering to the Newport Fire Department Headquarters located at 21 West Marlborough Street.  After a brief ceremony to welcome and thank the students they worked to apply the lettering to as many fire helmets that were available for the event.

This project has been a great example of cooperation between the departments of the municipality. They worked together to take advantage of the talents of the students and the equipment utilized in the Technology Education Program to help contribute to a tradition of safety maintained by the city’s firefighters.