In a recent video on FireSmart Kitimat’s Tik Tok account the group’s mascot Sparky taps its foot and slowly swings a rag above its head. “When they move their firewood 10 metres away from their home,” reads the text on screen as Anytime, Anyplace by Janet Jackson plays over top.
The video has more than 214,000 likes.
That’s pretty remarkable when you consider that the entire Skeena region has a population less than 100,000 people, a fact the group seems to be aware of.
FireSmart Kitimat’s recent video for example shows Sparky trying to order a small blue raspberry slushie. “Promoting fire safety to hundreds of thousands of people,” the text reads. “Being from a town of 8000.”
That video only garnered a mere 10,400 likes.
FireSmart Kitimat “is a program focused on reducing the wildfire risk to property, infrastructure, and public safety in Canada by helping communities become fire adapted.”
On Tik Tok, that vitally important message is blowing up. The organization’s account has 39,000 followers and nearly one million likes.
It all seems to be the brainchild of Angela Schmidt, a Kitimat local who is currently an Honours Biochemistry Student at McMaster University.
“As the FireSmart Assistant, my goal was to deliver the FireSmart program to the community of Kitimat through alternate means during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Schmidt’s LinkedIn account reads. “I managed the FireSmart Kitimat Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts, filmed and edited emergency awareness videos, hosted community barbeques, organized a virtual run, planned and delivered Kids Summer Programs, created and delivered a FireSmart Leadership program for youth ages 13-18 and organized other various online events/contests.”
Needless to say, we are very impressed. And judging by Sparky’s dance moves, he’s definitely excited too.