The Midland Fire Department will be hosting an open house Saturday to educate the community on public safety tips and to present interactive demonstrations of proper procedures during emergencies.
The department’s Fire Marshal’s Office will highlight emergency scenarios that cause the most concern for Midland, said Assistant Fire Marshal David Hickman. The department plans to do so by introducing its new Life Safety Trailer.
The trailer offers scenario packages for fires, severe weather conditions and household poisons, and how to deal with those scenarios.
The department had purchased a safety trailer in 1994, but Fire Marshal Jeff Miner said it was time to either rebuild it or replace it.
The Yarborough Foundation awarded a grant of $90,790 to the Midland Citizens Fire Academy, which purchased the trailer for the department, Miner said.
The grant allowed the group to purchase the new trailer, along with an assortment of logos and designs for the trailer exterior. The foundation had contacted the Fire Department about the possibility of helping to spread awareness among local children, Miner said.
The Life Safety Trailer, produced by BullEx Inc., measures 21 feet by 8.5 feet and is equipped with exterior television monitors so people can can observe the safety scenarios taking place inside the trailer.
The interior of the trailer includes a kitchen setting and mimics housefires and natural disasters with smoke, vibrations and lighting effects.
Participants in the trailer receive cues to properly handle hazardous appliances in the home, which benefits visual and hands-on learners, Hickman said.
He believes it is important to show people — especially children — how to react if an emergency occurs.
“I tell the kids that the scariest thing in the world is not knowing what to do,” Hickman said, “When the real event occurs, you have a better understanding of what you need to do.”
Miner believes it’s crucial for kids to participate in an interactive learning module because the knowledge will stick with them for a longer time.
“You can read a book and learn, but you’re going to retain more information by putting your hands on it,” Miner said.
Apart from the trailer, people who attend the open house will see an automated external defibrillator (AED) demonstration and can expect opportunities for food and pictures with firefighter gear. Other activities include aerial rides in the fire trucks, blood pressure checks and a foam party, weather permitting.
Hickman also will be on site to teach children the risks of playing with matches, and other useful safety tips.
The open house is great for the kids, Hickman said, since they can enjoy exploring the fire trucks in a safe environment.
“It’s better to see one here than to see one in front of your house,” Hickman said.
The Fire Department will be taking the trailer on Tuesday to Greathouse Elementary School, where firefighters will host classes on fire safety.
The free open house begins 10 a.m. at the Central Fire Station.
10:15 a.m. Combat Challenge
10:45 a.m. Firefighter DAVE
11:15 a.m. High Angle Rescue
11:45 a.m. AED demonstration
12:15 p.m. Firefighter DAVE
12:45 p.m. Combat Challenge
01:30 p.m. Foam party (weather permitting)
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