Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital joined with St. Cloud Fire Rescue Department on Friday in the unveiling of a new Fire PALS Community Book Box, located right outside the hospital’s main entrance on 17th Street that contains donated books for children and adults, pamphlets about swimming safety and brochures that promote fire safety awareness.

Short for Fire Prevention and Life Safety, Fire PALS is a community outreach organization designed to increase fire safety awareness through children’s books and fire safety activities. The Fire Pals Community Book Boxes are accessible mini-libraries placed throughout the city that ‘kindle the flames’ of curiosity and imagination in the hearts of children and adults alike.

Fire Pals, a program founded by St. Cloud Fire Rescue Lieutenant and Paramedic David Miller, aims to bring the community together through various educational safety initiatives.

The official unveiling of the new Fire Pals Community Book Box at Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital included hospital President Brian Wetzel. “Thanks to the St. Cloud Fire Rescue team and their Fire Pals Community Book Box initiative, we now have a book box in our ‘front yard’ where we can offer safety books to patients and visitors with information around fire safety and water safety for our little ones, which is a really big deal. Events like this are very important to us. I think it demonstrates that we’re not here to just to serve from a health care perspective, we want to serve this community in every way that’s possible.”

St. Cloud Fire

By establishing these community book boxes, Fire Pals is putting its vision into action, engaging with residents in a unique and meaningful way.

Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital was quick to embrace the FirePALS Communuty Book Box idea and offered a prime location, right near the main entrance of the hospital next to its front flagpole, underscoring their commitment to promoting health and well-being in the community in more ways than one.

The official unveiling of the Fire Pals Community Book Box at Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital brought together community members, hospital staff and leadership, and the dedicated firefighters of St. Cloud Fire Rescue.

The Fire Pals Community Book Box itself was a beautifully crafted, weather-resistant box filled with a diverse selection of books suitable for readers of all ages. Children’s picture books, young adult novels, and even a collection of inspiring titles for adults were carefully curated to cater to the hospital’s diverse community.

The artwork for the Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital’s book box, which features “Scrubs,” Orlando Health’s new doctor dog mascot, was Eric Frost, owner of 3 Little Birds Tattoo Gallery in St. Cloud. Frost is married to a St. Cloud Fire Rescue firefighter.

Hospital President Brian Wetzel expressed his pride in being a part of a community that places such a strong emphasis on supporting education and public safety, and recognized the collaborative efforts of St. Cloud Fire Rescue and Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital in making this project a reality.

The official opening of the Fire Pals Community Book Box at Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital marked a significant step in the journey towards fostering a love for reading and education in the St. Cloud community. Thanks to the dedication of St. Cloud Fire Rescue, Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, and the support of Hospital President Brian Wetzel, the Fire Pals Community Book Boxes are lighting a spark of imagination and knowledge that will continue to burn brightly in the hearts of St. Cloud’s residents for generations to come.