“National Fire Pup Day” Guest Blog By: Dayna Hilton, Executive Director for the Keep Kids Fire Safe® Foundation

From DAKOTA’S DEN: Today is National Fire Pup Day! In honor of this special day Mom and I want to introduce you to an incredible woman,  Dayna Hilton, who is the Executive Director for the Keep Kids Fire Safe® Foundation. Her mission is “Helping keep children and their caregivers fire safe.”

Mom first met Dayna at the BlogPaws conference in 2011. Mom was completely in awe of all that Dayna  does in her quest to educate children and their caregivers about fire safety. Mom and I are honored to feature Dayna as our guest blogger on this most special day! We are proud to present to you…Dayna!

Little did I know that in 2003, my life was about to change. Daisy, as she was called by the folks at the Dalmatian Assistance League of Tulsa, had been rescued from a home with 62 other dogs. The look on her sweet face on the DAL website was too much. I knew that I wanted to adopt her to give her a loving forever home.


After a little help from friends and fellow firefighters, I decided to name her Sparkles. She certainly lived up to her name! With a constant “smile” and wagging tail, the name fit perfectly!

           Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog

Sparkles was my best friend. We spent so many hours sharing fire safety together that I couldn’t even count the number of programs. We had a connection that was like no other. Not only did we share fire safety together, we really cared about each other and were constantly together.

  Firefighter Dayna Hilton and Sparkles the fire Safety Dog. 2006

Sparkles crossed the Rainbow Bridge almost two years ago on October 10th and I thought my days sharing fire safety with a canine companion were over. Little did imagine that things were just beginning….

With educationally sound programming based on the latest research, the Fire Safety Dogs have been helping reduce fire related deaths and injuries for almost ten years. With nine “saves” (helping save the lives of 7 children and 2 adults in actual fire related situations), the dogs continue to work hard helping save the lives of children and their caregivers.

Tango the Fire Safety Dog, Siren the Fire Safety Dog, Molly the Fire Safety Dog and Deuce (a rescue), are not only members of our local fire department, but mascots for the Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation, a foundation founded in memory of Sparkles. The dogs love helping keep people safe.

             Tango the Fire Safety Dog, Deuce and Siren the Fire Safety Dog

The newest “recruit” to the fire safety team, is 12 week old, Molly. Molly is learning all the ropes and loves helping her big brothers keep everyone safe! She is such a joy. It was truly fate how I found her. She was the last in the litter after being picked over by all her litter mates. At that time, Hurricane Isaac was passing over New Orleans, and I had to wait until the storm passed before I could fly down to get her. It was love at first site and I couldn’t wait to get her back to Arkansas.

       Molly the Fire Safety Dog-12 weeks old


The dogs love to Skype with school children and other organizations (reading their nationally recognized award-winning children’s fire safety books, sharing fire safety tips, singing  songs, etc…) FREE with schools for all over the world from their very own clubhouse, Sparkles’ Clubhouse.


Sparkles’ Clubhouse is named after Sparkles, and we are very grateful to our friends at First Alert for believing in us and partnering with us to help keep children safe with this amazing building.

Sparkles’ Clubhouse pictures by Ann Price Photography

                    Sparkles’ Clubhouse


Not only do we Skype with schools in the clubhouse, we also share fire safety on our weekly program, Sparkles’ Safety Spot, streamed live on the web every Friday morning. Children and their caregivers can join the chat and have fun learning at the same time. This last week we streamed our 56th episode! As far as we know, it is the only fire safety related show streamed weekly on the web. We love the opportunity to come into people’s homes and classrooms each week and hope that our efforts are helping keep people safe.


The dogs and I are getting ready to go on our Chicago Fire Safety Tour next week and will visit Sears Headquarters and Skype with school children from all across the county at Chicago Fire Department’s Survive Alive House. I am trying to set up a meet and great for the dogs while we in the Chicago area. Stay tuned to the fire Safety Dogs’ Facebook page to learn more and you can meet them live and in dog!

We recently started another new webpage, www.firesafetydogs.com in addition to Sparkles’ website.  In addition to their personal Facebook pages, we also started a new Facebook page for all of the dogs. They are always adding new photos, videos, free downloadable materials and more on their pages. They would LOVE to have you as a friend!


We would like to remind everyone to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home. Be sure to test the batteries once a month and change the batteries twice a year. In addition, make an escape plan and practice your plan. Homes can become engulfed in flames in as little as three minutes, so by having a plan and knowing what to do, you can help keep you, your family and your furkids safe!


To learn more about Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog and Sparkles’ Memorial Pathway at the National Emergency Training Center on the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation’s Walk of Honor, please visit http://www.sparklesthefiresafetydog.com/sparklesmemorialpathway.html.


 Sparkles’ Memorial Pathway

                        On the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation’s Walk of Honor

                                              National Emergency Training Center

                                                            Emmitsburg, MD


Please help support the work of the Fire Safety Dogs. We are in the process of sending free fire safety books to schools that we Skype with and need help with postage. To donate, please visit http://www.keepkidsfiresafe.org/supporters_information.html. Help save the life of a child.


The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://dakotasden.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/national-fire-pup-day-guest-blog-by-dayna-hilton-executive-director-for-the-keep-kids-fire-safe-foundation/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Woof! Woof! LOVE to meet them if we are still in Chicago. Learning n knowing Fire Safety procedures are very important. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    • Sugar hope you are able to! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  2. Wow, that’s great – it’s a fabulous and very interesting website – THANKS! I want this firetruck :o)))))

    • Hi Easy! We sooooooo agree!!! You are welcome! Noooo you can’t have the firetruck! BOL! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  3. Yet another great post & initiative Dakota!! House fires are a serious issue in South Africa particularly during the winter months and particularly in the township areas.

    Unfortunately smoke detectors are not mandatory or even widely available here but I am sure they would make a world of difference or at least be a step in the right direction.

    Wally & Sammy

    • Thank you Wally & Sammy! We wish we could take credit for it but we can’t. It’s all thanks to Dayna and the pups! Mom was thrilled that Dayna agreed to guest blog because Mom LOVES the work that she does. Ohhhh yesss S.Africa should make smoke detectors mandatory…show people there this post! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  4. What a fantastic post Dakota and Mommy..We just love how the dogs go round the schools,we have nothing like that. Sparkles was beautiful and it’s lovely to see his work still being done 🙂 Have a happy Monday..Got a nice song on the post for Mommy today 🙂 xx00xx

    • thank you so much Mollie but we can’t take credit for it! It’s all thanks to Dayna!! Mom saw your song and loved it! She apologizes that she didn’t have time to comment…she is going to Purina this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and has a ZILLION things to do to get ready! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

      • I won’t put my nice award on till you get back, have a great time , don’t forget ya lippy 🙂 xxx000xxx Just Chill as well 🙂 x

      • Hi Mollie! Sounds like a plan! OMG you should see the “lippy!” lol. At least 4 different colors lol. I plan on having a great time! I don’t leave til Wednesday afternoon 🙂 Thank you!!!!! Love, “Mom”

  5. Brilliant cause and so much good has been achieved. Congratulations. Lovely post Dakota. Have a lovely Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

    • Thanks Molly but we can’t take credit for it. It’s all thanks to Dayna!! It’s her incredible cause and she wrote the post. We were honored to feature her! You have a lovely Monday as well! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  6. OK, I want to live in Sparkles’ clubhouse!

    What a wonderful way to teach and help kids stay safe.

    • Sara, funny you said that…so do I 🙂 Love, “Mom”

  7. Great post and sure did enjoy the photos!

    • thanks Sue! I was thrilled and honored that Dayna agreed to be a guest blogger for me today! Love, “Mom”

  8. That sure sounds like a really great gal. What a wonderful thing to do and it sure helps to have a dog at the center of this That is truly a wonderful program.

    • Hi Marg! She is and was so happy to have met her! Glad you enjoyed this! Love, “Mom”

  9. Thank you fire lady. That was a very important post. Now how do I get to ride in the engine?
    Benny & Lily

  10. What a great program, love the doggie pictures too.

    • we agree! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  11. What a fantastic program! Boy that Sparkles really started a “spark” didn’t she! hehe! Molly is such a sweetie too!

    Thanks again for all your kind words and support with Freddie, Caren!! 🙂

    • Hi Bassetmomma! We agree! Mom said you are MOST WELCOME but you DON’T have to thank her!!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  12. That’s very cool of Dayna-peoples and her spotted friends to help keep peoples safe from fires. Bet Molly is going to make a great fire-assistant.

    • Hi Toby! We agree!!! Ohhh isn’t Molly just too cute? Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  13. Awesome post for a great cause – thanks for sharing! We had a dalmation for 12 years so I definitely have a soft spot for those spotted pups.

    • Hi Will and Eko. Dayna is incredible, I am sure she will love your comment! You are most welcome! Awwww how lucky you were to have a Dalmatian. They are such great dogs! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  14. What a great post, and a great program! I bet the dogs are very popular teachers for the program. I know the kids at Mom’s school would LOVE them!


    • Thank you Bunny! We agree!!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  15. Hey Dakota, Jet here. Hi Miss Caren.

    Phenomenal guest post. Super important issue. Mom’s going to copy the post and send to a few humans in our school system or local government. 🙂

    • Hi Jet!! Thanks so much I agree! Dayna did a PHENOMENAL POST! I am soooo happy your Mom is going to share it! How cool is THAT? Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  16. I love that Sparkle’s Clubhouse! It is so beautiful and I bet all children will love it.

    • Eva we sooo agree!Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  17. Such a great post Dakota on such an important topic!

    We were lucky enough to meet them at Blogpaws this year, they do such amazing work!!

    Way to go guys,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Thanks so much Snoopy!! Mom and I are sooo happy that you got to meet them too! Mom met them in 2011 and Mom just LOVED Dayna’s session and she was soooooo nice! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: