Local Fire Fighter Invents Toy to Help Educate Kids

(SIOUX CITY, IA) A local firefighter is putting his knowledge of safety and entrepreneurial skills to work. Together they make a cuddly and furry talking bear.

"Never give your address or phone number to strangers."

It's the bear that says it all.

"Firefighters are my friend, they love to help people. Let's have fun learning about fire safety."

Okay maybe not everything but Matt and Marie Divis hope 27 safety phrases and two songs will help keep your child safe.

"As a firefighter we go to the schools and children will come to the fire house and we'll teach them all about fire safety, what to do in case of a fire, have a fire escape plan but also to take those lessons home," said Matt Divis, A Sioux City Fire Fighter.

And because Matt has a bit of an entrepreneurial side he decided kids could use a little help with remembering these safety tips at home.

"He thought it would be great to make some type of a product that would teach kids fire safety, stranger safety and anti-bullying. Because he recognized our kids were only getting it like once a year," said Marie Divis, Matt's wife.

So Marie and Matt got to work, researching other products to make sure their idea wasn't a copy of someone else's. Sure enough it wasn't and 2 and a half years later Safety Buddy was officially finished.

Lucky for Matt and Marie, their very own kids conducted the product reviews.

"They all love it. Even our 9-year-old loves it. They think it's a great idea," said Marie.

The pink bear is the better seller. They've been for sale for the past 4 to 5 weeks and already, Matt and Marie have sold almost 300 bears.

"The feedback has been really positive. People are really excited about it. We show people safety buddy and they're like wow, this is awesome. I can't believe you guys thought of this," said Marie.

Just in time for the holidays. But parents if Safety Buddy is a little too chatty, especially when you're trying to sleep, there's an off button (wink, wink). One perk, Matt and Marie say, of product testing at home.

If you are interested in getting a bear for your child, just head to the website: