Seven local fire departments come together to promote awareness

Par Mario Pitre
Seven local fire departments come together to promote awareness
A geared-up future fireman puts out a fire during last year’s Family Fire Prevention Day in Hun-tingdon. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, October 6, at Heritage Elementary School. (Photo : Shelly Maither)

As families gather over the Thanksgiving weekend, the thought of a fire is likely to be the furthest thing from people’s minds, however the reality is the majority of house fires start in the kitchen and many families are simply not aware of what to do in the unfortunate event of a fire. The annual Fire Prevention Day in Huntingdon offers families the opportunity to learn about fire safety and awareness, and most importantly, how to react fast and get out safely.
Members of the Constable Volunteer Firemen Inc, the Godmanchester Volunteer Fire Department, Hinchinbrooke Fire Brigade, SSI Huntingdon Fire Department, SSI St-Anicet, SSI Ste-Barbe and the Fort-Covington Volunteer Fire Department will all be on hand on October 6 at Heritage Elementary School for a full morning of activities designed to educate children and their parents on the importance of fire safety.
“Its been 18 years now and its grown a little but I am so proud of the support of our fire departments who volunteer their time,” says James Gavin, of the Constable Volunteer Firemen Inc, repeating the mantra he has held onto in organizing this event each year: “If we can help just one person we have done our job.”
For Gavin, one of the most important things the Fire Prevention Day does in allowing children to dress up as firemen and have their pictures taken with their local heroes is to make sure children become familiar with fire safety from a very young age. He reiterates the importance of having an escape route with a safe meeting spot established outside and to practice as a family to en-sure young children will know what to do. He suggests teaching children to dial 911 and to ensure they have their address memorized so they can report an emergency. Mr. Gavin is also quick to point out that so much relies on simply remembering to change the battery in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with the time change each fall and spring.
Morning full of activities
The event will take place entirely outdoors, with activities including a a fire pan where children can practice putting out a fire in full gear, a house mock-up where kids can use a hose to extinguish a fire, a grease fire demonstration, a building set to simulate how fast smoke infiltrates a room, a Jaws of Life demonstration, and a water safety presentation. Weather permitting, there will also be fire themed bouncy houses. The Huntingdon Optimist Club will also be on hand with refreshments.
“We just want our citizens to be prepared to handle the situation as best they can until we can get there,” he says, on behalf of the team of firefighters who work together each year to make this day happen. “We can’t express enough how being prepared can save lives.”
The Fire Safety Prevention Day will take place on October 6, at Heritage Elementary School in Huntingdon, starting at 9 am.

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