Our presenter today was Minnesota Deputy State Fire Marshall, Kathi Osmonson.  Kathi is the Youth Fire and Intervention Specialist for Minnesota.  Children are naturally fascinated by fire and this curiosity is normal, but starting fires is potentially deadly because children underestimate their ability to control a fire once it’s burning. Although youth started fires are decreasing, there are still over 100 reported incidents and the unreported incidents are much, much higher.  Children who repeatedly start fires need help and that’s where the Youth Fire Intervention Team (YFIT) plays an important role. Youthful fire starters are often just imitating adult behaviors but they may have underlying psychological or behavioral disorders.  Regardless of the reason for youthful fire starting, swift intervention can prevent serious injury or death for the child and others.  The YFIT team specialists are trained to screen children and intervene with some combination of fire safety education, mental health referral and restorative justice.  With intervention, 98% of youthful fire starters will not repeat the behavior.  To get help for a youthful fire starter, call the Youth Fire Intervention Coordinator at 762-280-4609 or kathi.osmonson@state.mn.us
President Charlie Longbella reminded us of the upcoming District 5960 “Taste of Rotary”  event being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Roseville from 8:15-11:30AM on Saturday January 8, 2022.  Think of it as a Rotary enthusiasm booster shot, featuring Idea Sharing, Breakout Sessions, Foundation Information, Club Visioning Information and more.
Past President Edeth James shared some photos of his wedding to Rachel in Dallas (see below).  Congratulations, Edeth and Rachel!.
Next week’s meeting features the Irondale Choir for our annual Christmas carol sing-along.  Please note that the meeting will be at Risdall Marketing Group, 2685 Long Lake Rd. in Roseville.  Please plan to arrive by Noon.  Spouses and past Rotarians are welcome, but please let Charlie know as soon as possible if you are bringing a guest.
Remember that we decided that we will NOT meet on December 28th and that our January 4th meeting will be off-site at the Mounds View Public Works Facility.