Zionsville Fire Dept. uses van to display messages


Zionsville Fire Dept. public educator Vincent Randolph can get his safety messages across by simply taking a drive.

His department vehicle was specially wrapped with messages by Indy’s Pro Graphix a month ago.

CIZ COM 0416 ZFD new vehicle
Vincent Randolph with his Zionsville Fire Dept. van that displays messages. (Submitted photo)

“We finalized the design and got it wrapped,” Randolph said. “It’s not just a logo. There are actual messages that carry our life-saving strategy that we teach and preach every day. By actually utilizing the space that we have on that vehicle to convey our most important messages, we actually can speak to the residents of Zionsville without even saying a word, just rolling past them.”

Since the vehicle was obtained in July 2018, Randolph said it has been used to help the public education division transport items, materials and resources to events. Randolph loads materials in the vehicle and delivers items such as handouts, fire helmets, spray hoses and photo props.

The idea to wrap the vehicle with messages was developed during a brainstorming session with Randolph, Fire Marshal Joshua Frost and Prevention Inspector Ron Lipps.

“I’ve not seen it anywhere else, and I’m proud that our vehicle is one-of-a-kind and stands out,” said Randolph, who joined ZFD in April 2018

The three focus areas of “Prepare, Prevent, Practice” are on the van.

“As far as preparing, you want to make sure you check your smoke alarms, change the batteries. You want to sleep with the doors closed,” Randolph said. “As far as your prevention, that is the back panel of the van. One of my favorite parts is we have a picture full of household hazards. It simply says, ‘Can you spot the hazard?’”

Randolph said at stoplights he sees people in his rear-view mirror engage in discussion.

“The driver and the passenger are pointing out the different hazards on the back of the van,” he said. “Our thought process is if they spend time to spot hazards on the van, when they get home they are going to look for hazards and correct those. That’s the prevention piece. As far as the practice piece, we always said, ‘What good is having a plan if you never practice?’ So, we talk about practicing the plan, crawling down low and checking the door for heat with the back of your hand. If you have an escape ladder, go ahead and unfurl that. I always say a fire is never a time for reading directions.”