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Retired Indianapolis firefighter uses dogs to help teach children about fire safety

Dogs show them how to stop, drop and roll
Posted at 6:29 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 18:29:00-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A retired firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department is teaching fire safety to school children across the country with the help of an army of black Labrador retrievers.

Jeff Owens travels the country with his Kasey Program, speaking at 400 schools each year.  It doesn't cost the schools a dime.

Owens says he never intended to start the program.

"On a whim, it dawned on me, the dog could sit, stay and roll over, and that's stop drop and roll. So, I just took her with me. The kids were so mesmerized, I thought, hmmm maybe I've got something here," said Jeff Owens, Creator of the Kasey Program.

Owens says he can't prevent fire prevent fires, but he can try to help prevent fire deaths. His dogs have helped save 16 lives.

"I have images in my head of those recoveries- when children didn't survive in a house fire in Indianapolis. If I can prevent those memories from happening to other firefighters by doing the education on the front end and potentially the children being able to get out - I'm not going to be able to prevent all of those but I'm going to prevent as many as I absolutely can," said Owens.

He says you can help by having working smoke detectors in your home on all levels.