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Fifth grader at Millcreek Elementary is Jr. Fire Chief for the week

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 20:37:58-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The city of Lexington has a new Junior Fire Chief. A fifth grader at Millcreek Elementary school was given the honorary title by Fire Chief Jason Wells to kick off Fire Prevention Month.

10-year-old Reese Tumlinson will get to spend the rest of the week in the chief's shoes, touring spots throughout the city, meeting elected officials, and enjoying daily ice cream trips.

"I was shocked and I didn't think it was gonna be me," said Tumlinson.

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Her essay talked about the importance of having a safety plan to fit this year's theme, "Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape". With the help of her mom, Reese drew out the floor plan of her house, including color-coded windows and exits.

During her week out of school, Reese says she's most excited to tour the fire stations and have the opportunity to boss people around.

"I like to tell people what to do," she explained.

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During her pinning, a teacher described her as caring, friendly, creative, and thoughtful.

About a year ago, Reese was diagnosed with Scoliosis and plans to have surgery soon. She's helped educate her classmates about the condition ever since she found out, by showing off her stylish brace and answering their questions.

Reese says she hopes her positive outlook and her time as Jr. Chief can help other kids her age.

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"People, especially kids, are feeling like they can't do things and they know what I'm going through, and it can inspire them," said Reese.

Lexington's Junior Fire Chief Program has educated and promoted fire prevention for kids since the 1960's.

They plan to find a new Jr. Chief at a different elementary school in Fayette County each October.