LAST WEEK’S FIRE PREVENTION OPEN HOUSE at Brunswick Fire Department’s Emerson Station was packed with families and fun.

LAST WEEK’S FIRE PREVENTION OPEN HOUSE at Brunswick Fire Department’s Emerson Station was packed with families and fun.

BRUNSWICK

As much as carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, the Brunswick Fire Department’s open house during fire prevention weeks is a must for many local families every October. Last week’s open house was no exception. The event usually draws around 500 people through the fire bay doors, and this year’s event was especially well attended.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Emerson said the fire department is in Brunswick schools throughout the year educating about fire prevention and public safety. The open house is the grand event, when firefighters get to meet families and hear some of the success stories.

The value of this programming is demonstrated outside of classroom walls, such as when a child calls 911 in an emergency situation.

Recently Brunswick Fire Department responded to a house fire where there were three kids home with a parent. One of the children, a 12-yearold girl, told firefighters she had her second exit all planned out in case she needed another way out of the home — which is part of what the fire department teaches children.

“Prevention is a hard thing to measure,” Emerson said. But stories like this illustrate the importance of prevention education.

The open house is an important event as well where carbon monoxide detectors were being handed out. There were many public safety-related vendors from all over, including Brunswick Police Department, the local hospital, American Red Cross, a railroad safety group and the Maine Forest Service with Smokey Bear.

There was educational information for parents and children and all the fun stuff kids took home — balloons, rulers, color-changing pencils and more — had fire safety messages on them. And everything is free.

Kids got to go through the interactive smoke house, slide down a fire pole build fire trucks with Lowe’s Home Improvement representatives on hand, play on the Bounce House and see the seat belt convincer at work. And of course look over the fire and police vehicles.

Emerson said the event is a success because of the planning efforts of Padi Young, the department’s administrative assistant, along with the vendors who attend and most importantly, the public that comes out.

“It’s really the public we want to thank,” Emerson said.

There were several prizes including the much sought after fire truck rides to school, which usually take place in November.

This year, winners are Lia Whitman from Coffin Elementary School, Aaliyah Wilson from Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School and Michael Morris from St. John’s Catholic School.


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