By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Fire Department combined a lesson on fire safety with good old fashioned fun at its annual fire safety event on Wednesday, 7/20, on Walnut Street near the Millicent Library.
After children, and their adults, learned about what to do in a fire, firefighters turned on the hose of the 750-gallon pumper truck and let children hold the hose and run through the spray.
Public Safety Officer Wayne Oliveira told the children four things about fire: 1) It can get up to several hundred degrees, and will burn them very quickly; 2) It is smokey, and they will not be able to see; 3) It creates dangerous gases that can make them sick; 4) They will have very little time to react, about one minute.
He told them they needed to leave the house immediately if a fire broke out.
Then firefighters David Gordon and Joshua Benoit dressed in their firefighting gear, from their booted slacks to their special helmets. Mr. Oliveira explained each piece of clothing and its purpose, the most important being to cover up all their skin and protect their heads from falling debris.
Then Mr. Gordon and Mr. Benoit crawled around in their gear, including their gas masks, so the children could see what they would look like.
Mr. Oliveira admitted that they looked kind of scary. Picture the house full of smoke, he said, and these guys crawling around your house.
“I want you to know he’s your friend,” said Mr. Oliveira. “He’s not a monster.”
Then they turned on the hose on the lawn of the Unitarian Memorial Church.
Children also received fire safety coloring books, a bright red fire hat, and a chance to hang out with Sparky the Fire Dog.
The annual event is held in July and is sponsored by the Millicent Library.