Freddie is back!

Freddie the Fire Truck is back in Sweetwater after a hiatus from teaching the children of Sweetwater about fire safety.Freddie the Fire Truck came to Sweetwater Fire Department about 20 years ago. He had served a long life of educating and entertaining local children. Freddie the Fire Truck has had some rough times in the recent past, with Freddie getting to be the age he is, and unfortunately, was unable to continue his work with the local school fire prevention and safety programs due to his advanced age and the wear and tear of Freddie's components.Freddie was built back on July 7, 1991, according to his original manufacturer. Robotronics, Inc. gave a quote on replacing and/or repairing the worn and outdated components and equipment necessary to allow Freddie to return to service educating local children on fire prevention and safety. Unfortunately, many parts on Freddie were very worn and it was better for Freddie to retire.Last year, East Ridge Elementary School donated the funds raised from their annual penny drive to help fix Freddie. Nolan County 4-H members also put on a fundraiser to fix Freddie and many other entities and individuals donated towards the fund to fix Freddie the Fire Truck for local children.Freddie the Fire Truck is an exciting tool for teaching fire safety. A fully animated fire truck robot, Freddie moves, speaks, listens, squirts water, plays music through an mp3 player and sounds his siren, all by remote control. He can wink, blink and move his eyes and with his smiling mouth he presents a positive and friendly image to young and old alike. He can be used with great success in school classrooms, assemblies, station tours, shopping mall exhibits, state and local fairs and any other setting where a program is represented.He’s just the right size for teaching children. He can communicate with them at their eye level and when he moves he’s not at all threatening. He’s perfect for hugs and kisses from small friends. He’s agile enough to maneuver easily in school classrooms and other restricted areas. With his headlights, taillights and flashing warning lights he is highly visible.Freddie is available to visit any pre-school, kindergarten or elementary building within the county.Freddie the Fire Truck came back to Sweetwater on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, and will most likely make his first public appearance at local schools during Fire Safety and Prevention Week in October.