Concerned 16-year-old shares message on safety issues wherever he goes


November 27, 1995|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THERE ARE more than 24,000 accidental deaths and almost 26 million accidental injuries to those under age 25 in the United States. That's a fact that Westminster's Joshua Kibler shares freely.

Josh is what some would call a safety buff. Having carried a safety project in 4-H since he was 8, the 16-year-old junior at Westminster High School and the Career and Technology Center recently returned from a four-day trip to Dallas, where he acted as a delegate to the 35th annual National Safety Council-Youth Safety Congress. While there, he earned the Award of Honor.

Nicknamed "Mr. Safety" by family and friends, Josh has helped organize and present more than 75 safety demonstrations at meetings, fairs, festivals and community activities. He has taught classes on all-terrain vehicle safety, first aid, disaster preparedness, and precautions for latchkey children. His posters and safety displays have helped educate people about safety and health issues.

In June 1994, Josh helped plan and organize a community safety awareness day at Deer Park United Methodist Church. His promotional efforts were instrumental in bringing safety displays from the Department of Natural Resources, local fire companies, the Red Cross, the health department and more. Visitors to the safety fair could handle a snake and learn what to watch out for when hiking in the woods. They were able to talk to health aides about their concerns, learn fire safety, animal safety and more.

Josh uses the written word to send his message, too. His safety tips have appeared in the Carroll County 4-H publication, the Tribune, and he has written articles for a national ATV safety newsletter, Rider Network News.

Josh has been a member of the Maryland State Police Explorers for a year and a half, where he has assisted with crime prevention activities, Halloween safety for children and seat belt safety.

Josh said he hopes to make safety a career one day, working as a consultant for his father's company, Kibler Construction. But for now, he will work as a safety activist, promoting safety awareness wherever he goes.

Celebrate winter

The Carroll County Choral Society will present its 26th Christmas concert, "A Winter Celebration," Dec. 4 and 5. The concert will be at Westminster High School, 1225 Washington Road (Route 32), at 7:30 each evening. The concert will be directed by Herb Sell and accompanied by Beverly Wells.

Member Delores Bankert said, "We have about 55 members right now, and they will all be performing. We'll be doing all Christmas and winter music. There are a lot of snow songs." For information, call Ms. Bankert at 848-9080.

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