Fire truck rides and fire demonstrations
Sunday, Oct. 2 was a cold and rainy day, and while many events were canceled, the Syosset Volunteer Fire Department kept theirs on.
“We kind of consolidated a little bit and we didn’t do as much as we would because of the weather situation,” said Ken Johnson, the head of fire safety with the Syosset Volunteer Fire Department. “It didn’t hinder us too much. The public was coming and we have a good time… Some of the people have really good questions about their homes and we try to teach the children most of all.”
There was so much to do at this open house, with activities that the whole family would enjoy. Children got to wear plastic firefighter helmets and try using a fire hose. The whole family was also invited to board a fire truck and take a spin around the neighborhood with the emergency sirens on. There were also demonstrations on how quickly a house or car fire could spread, and how to behave around such a fire.
And none of these activities had to be done on an empty stomach, as the fire department provided snacks insides. Children also got to take home a bag full of educational activities.
The event was the Fire Prevention Open House, which was held ahead Fire Prevention Week, a period that lasts from Oct. 9 and 15.
The National Fire Protection Committee has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. In 1925, former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance. It is during this week children, adults and children learn how to stay safe in the case of a fire. It is held the week of Oct. 9 because of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871 and caused devastating damage. The event led to the deaths of more than 250 people, the displacement of 100,000 people; and the destruction and burning of more than 17,400 structures and 2,000 acres of land.
“The process of putting this together is gathering the information that will people in the public prevent fires from happening in their home,” Johnson said. “We want to let people know what we do and the risks firefighters take. We also show some demonstrations on… how a fire can advance and what to do if there’s a fire in their home and also making sure they have the fire detectors in the proper place.”
The main goal of the event is teach attendees about fire safety and inspire people to make sure their homes are fire safe.
“I hope that the public will check their home for smoke detectors, make sure they’re working and if they have any other questions and problems that they contact us,” Johnson said. “Check your house. Make sure that the surge protectors aren’t warm. If they’re warm you should replace them. Check the wires in your home. Make sure they aren’t frayed and that they’re okay. Check the carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they’re all up to do date. The new smoke and the carbon monoxide detectors are good for 10 years. So, once you test it, you only need to test it once a month.”
Peter Silver, the chief of the Syosset Volunteer Fire Department added that the event is also a chance to recruit new volunteers.
“We’re a volunteer organization and we respond to over 3,000 alarms a year,” Silver said. “We’re trying to see if there’s anyone in our community who is willing to join us as a firefighter or EMS.”
Visit www.syossetfd.org for more information about the Syosset Volunteer Fire Department.