Every fourth grader in Burlington drew a poster to promote Fire Prevention Week, but only was rewarded a bicycle for her efforts.

Nine-year-old Notre Dame fourth-grader Elise Henry took home that prize, surprised that her four days of poster work would lead to such a sweet ride.

"I'm excited,' she said, seconds after winning the bicycle.

Her mother Angela Shipley and stepfather Eric Shipley watched from the bottom row of the Notre Dame bleachers, reveling in their daughter's moment.

"I can't wait to see her face," Eric said a few minutes before the grand prize winner was revealed. "This is something she's been talking about for a week."

The theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week is "Every second counts, know two ways out," referring to the safe practice of keeping at least two exits open for fire emergencies. The center of the poster depicts rising flames, and is surrounded by images that tie in with the theme.

"I noticed that I didn't do the plan 'two ways out.''' So I added a door and a window," she said.

Burlington Fire Marshal Mark Crooks congratulated Henry personally, as did a handful of Burlington firefighters.

"I think you did a good job. I hope you're proud of your work," Crooks said to Henry.

Three fourth-graders from every elementary school in the city were selected by the Art Center as the top place-finishers, and those posters will hang in the Art Center for a month or so. Crooks said the poster contest has been around since the 1970s, and the free bike give away started about 15 years ago.

Bickel's Cycling and Fitness has been donating the bikes every year, and had a brand new, purple 21-speed Trek cycle waiting for Henry. She will get a free bicycle helmet paid for the Burlington Fire Department, as well as a bike fitting and tune-up at Bickel's. Her poster will also hang in the Burlington Fire Department.

It was the first time Notre Dame had won the contest.

"I remember doing this (the poster contest) when I was a kid. That was the late 80s," Melinda Bickel said.

Crooks said the only reward before bicycles entered the equation was entry into a statewide poster contest, which featured a dozen of the posters in an annual calendar. The winners didn't get their posters back, however, and the Burlington area hadn't made it into the finals for quite some time.

"We thought, let's do something different. Let's make it to where the kids strive to do better. And that's when we started doing bicycles in the early 2000s," Crooks said.

The fire department has been visiting all the Burlington schools for fire drills since the beginning of the week, and the elementary students had just finished a surprise fire drill before the bike was awarded. Coming in at one minute and 12 seconds, Crooks was pleased with the drill Wednesday at Notre Dame. Firefighters intentionally pulled students out of the fire drill lines, testing the teachers' accountability system. They also blocked off some of the exits, just like a real fire might.

Since larger schools like Burlington High School can take up to 3 minutes to evacuate, there is no standard time to meet. Generally speaking, Crooks like to see students out of the building within a minute. About 3,000 people die in house fires every year in America.

"By having a working smoke detector in your house, it cuts your risk of injury by 50 percent," Crooks told the students.