The Recorder – Sunderland firefighters plan an open day for National Fire Prevention Week

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Published: 09/10/2022 16:15:08

Modified: 09/10/2022 16:14:58

SUNDERLAND – To cap off National Fire Prevention Week, the Sunderland Fire Service is hosting an open day on Saturday October 15, where members of the public can learn about fire safety and meet the firefighters.

The 100th annual Fire Prevention Week will take place from October 9 to 15 under the general theme “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape. In that vein, the Sunderland Fire Service is bringing the state’s Student Fire Education (SAFE) awareness trailer to its station on Saturday to provide a learning opportunity for children and families. The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s a caravan, but it’s like a miniature house,” said Sunderland Fire Chief Steven Benjamin. “It shows kids what it’s like to be in a house and there’s a fire.”

The National Fire Protection Association has sponsored Fire Prevention Week since 1922. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the week a national observance, making it the longest-running celebration of public health in the United States. It is observed the week of October 9, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which tore through the city in 1871 and killed more than 250 people, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Having a plan, Benjamin said, is key to getting out of a burning house safely, while helping firefighters in their response, as it can help them formulate a fire or, if necessary, a rescue plan. He added that key planning topics for children include knowing the layout of houses and which doors are the best escape routes in an emergency.

“It starts with good practice and repetition over the years,” Benjamin said. “So hopefully those concepts will stick.”

In the trailer, which also has a smoke generator to simulate the visual aspects of a fire, children will have the chance to learn the best methods for leaving a burning house, as well as other general safety tips. fire, such as how to spot when a candle is a fire hazard.

“It’s fun. It’s created to be light and enjoyable,” Benjamin said. “These are really tough lessons that are hard to teach sitting in a classroom.”

The open day will also offer games for children with the fire hose so that they feel the power of water. There will be a meet and greet with Sunderland Firefighters, members of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s District 9 Wildfire Team, which covers Franklin County, and Smokey the Bear. Meeting firefighters can also be helpful for parents, as it helps to familiarize themselves with first responders and show them the equipment funded by their taxes.

“We’ll have a great group of firefighters here to greet people and talk about anything they’d like,” Benjamin said. “Smokey is always a big hit. It doesn’t say much, but it’s an institution, no doubt.

Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.

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