Family-friendly event celebrates National Fire Prevention Week –
By Patricia Beech –
Photo by Dakota Raines –
Scores of children and families turned out on Saturday, Oct. 7 for the seventh annual Fire/Rescue/EMS Safety Day at the firehouse and Nathaniel Massie Park in Manchester.
“We pick one day a year, the first Saturday in October, to kick off our prevention month and hold Safety Day for all the children and the people in Manchester,” says Manchester Fire Department Lt. Kevin Walters. “It allows us to give back to the community and to share important information about safety and to demonstrate some of the operations that firefighters, rescue teams, and EMS workers do on an almost daily basis.”
Using the Jaws of Life, emergency workers demonstrated how they free trapped victims from vehicles, firefighters demonstrated how they extinguish fire in a burning car, and CPR instructors gave life-saving courses for the public.
Sheriff Kimmy Rogers spoke to the kids in attendance about safety, and the Air Evac helicopter and crew were on hand, giving the children the opportunity to see the aircraft up close.
Children also participated in several events, contests, and activities, in addition to burning off energy in three giant inflatables set up in the village park.
Free food was provided to all those attending the event.
The judging for the chili cook-off was held at noon with Walters taking home the trophy by unanimous vote of the judges.
Walters says emergency workers spend a year preparing and planning for the family-friendly event.
“We have fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for this day,” says Walters. “It costs us about $1,500, which all comes out of our association funds that we raise from private donations and from having are Church spaghetti dinners.”
Oct. 8 – 14 is National Fire Prevention Week. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.”
To emphasize the point, the NFPA adopted the slogan “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” for the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme.
The NFPA website lists six practical steps the public can take to insure their safety in the event of a fire: Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit; practice your home fire drill twice a year, conducting one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out; Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them; make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find; close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire; and once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.