FD: McTown Klownz
Fightin' Fire with Fire Education
Siren, Bucky, Blaze, Plug and DJ Fuego along with puppets and various characters actively teach fire and life safety lessons to local children. The McTown Klownz are active McKinney Fire Department Firefighters who know the dangers of fire first-hand. The Life Safety Education office annually reviews injury and death statistics for Collin County children ages birth to 13 years and incorporates high-occurrence subjects into the shows.
McTown Klownz performances are scheduled throughout September and October in honor of Fire Prevention Month. Life safety messages are shared with children in McKinney ISD, Frisco and Prosper elementary schools within the city limits of McKinney. For more information about this or one of Life Safety Division's other programs, please contact the McKinney Fire Department.
The McTown Klownz
Blaze - Khalil Martin
Khalil started with McKinney Fire Department in 2003. Before the Klownz, he wore the Sparky the Fire Dog costume for events. Things changed when Sparky was invited to join the McTown Klownz on stage in 2006. Khalil says, "I really enjoyed the guys, so in 2007 season I became the sound guy. Then in 2008 I longed to be more animated so....the Coupe de gras Blaze was born. A fun loving, troublemaking, pranking hobo who loves to see the big smile on the kids while having fun and learning all about fire education. As Blaze always says, "Stand up don't stand by, Be a buddy, not a bully."
Bucky - Terry Carr
Terry has been a firefighter / paramedic since 1998, a fire clown since 2000 and with the McKinney Fire Department since 2006. When Terry joined McTown Klownz, Hoser and Siren helped him create his clown face. Terry’s fire clown name was coined by Mrs. Irwin, a longtime McKinney resident, because he got on his hands and knees to kick like a bucking bronco when he was upset. He kept it because the children loved it. Public education has always been a passion of Terry’s, and he looks forward each year to teaching at the local schools. He enjoys reaching out to the community with “Edutainment,” – education by characterization. Bucky says, “Remember – the perfect smoke alarm is the one that works!”
Hoser - Brent Rollins
Brent is now retired from the McKinney Fire Department. He created “Hoser” as a poor hobo clown in the summer of 1993. Hoser made his debut in elementary schools the following October when he started the McKinney Fire Department’s traveling Fire Safety Show. After a few years of 'clowndergarten,' Hoser graduated into being an Auguste clown character. "Ah, home at last," he says. After a couple of years, a few others joined the group. “I can’t say enough about our McTown Klownz family,” says Brent. “We all share the same passion and vision for keeping our kids safe in McKinney. The first priority of our program is safety education for the kids. It's truly a pleasure to be part of this program.”
Plug - Eric Daniels
A McKinney firefighter / paramedic since 2008, Eric is the newest clown to the group. He volunteered to video the McTown Klownz in 2010 and later ran the show’s sound equipment. In 2011, Eric coined the name Plug with the help of his fellow clowns because he “plugged in” sound equipment before every show. Plug’s character fits his role as sound guy, and he’s learning how to make each McTown Klownz appearance unique. "If every show teaches just one child about an aspect of fire safety that can be applied at home, that's all that matters!" he says.
Siren - Jason Newell
Jason is a firefighter / paramedic with the McKinney Fire Department. He began clowning with McTown Klownz in 2002. Before that, he was with another group of clowns for six years. Siren is a lite Auguste clown with roots in Whiteface. He, like the rest of the Klownz, has a character that changes with the program from cowboy to politician, caveman to circus performer. With the Klownz, Siren has performed in front of a national conference of fire educators. With Hoser he has competed in an international clowning competition and with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Jason has a passion to educate kids about not just fire safety, but also about life safety. “We will continue to change and stay on the forefront of safety for the sake of the children,” he says.