What kid doesn’t like looking at and being able to get close to big, shiny fire trucks? Pretty much all of them.
This weekend, they’ll get that chance while they and their parents also learn about fire safety at Collier County’s second annual fire prevention awareness day.
On Oct. 2 at Fleischmann Park, local fire agencies will kick off National Fire Prevention Week by welcoming all ages to learn more about escaping a home in the event of a fire or an emergency, how to test smoke detectors, and how to use a fire extinguisher, just to name a few of the informational displays that will be available to families.
“This is one of the really good events that happens in Collier County, where families can get fire safety information from all of the local fire agencies. The Division of Forestry will have Smokey the Bear there, and a transport vehicle with the bulldozer, and a fire safety booth, across from the Coastland mall,” said Victor Hill, a wildfire mitigation specialist with the state Division of Forestry.
Shawn Hanson, a fire inspector with the East Naples Fire Control and Rescue District, will be providing an interactive surprise to this year’s fire safety event. The East Naples fire district just accepted a delivery of “Sparky the Fire Dog,” the National Fire Protection Association’s official mascot. Along with being an animated costume that fire districts use at events such as this, the “dog” has also starred in TV public service announcements since the 1950s and now has his own website to teach children about fire safety.
“We want to thank the Collier County fire chiefs for assisting us in providing door prizes for the event,” said Hanson. She reminds everyone to test smoke detectors often, and to practice an escape plan in the event of a fire. “Stay low and have two ways to go. Sleep with your bedroom door closed.”
Jim McEvoy, the former city of Naples’ fire chief, is also looking forward to the event, and said that fire trucks from the city’s Fire and Rescue Department will be available for tours. McEvoy cited the great Chicago fires as a disaster in fire safety history, prompting the formation of fire safety standards within homes and commercial structures that National Fire Protection Association manages today.
Fire Prevention Day began on Oct. 9, 1911, which commemorated the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The city-wide devastation left 250 people dead and 17,430 buildings destroyed. The tragedy prompted fire departments across the nation to think about fire prevention activities, as well as firefighting efforts to save lives. The National Fire Protection Association still maintains this tradition today through education, prevention, research, training and development initiatives.
In addition to personnel from various Collier County fire districts, other organizations that plan on attending the event include the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
If You Go:
Fire Prevention Awareness Day
Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fleischmann Park, across from the Coastland Center