Whitman Fire/Rescue hosts 2015 open house
WHITMAN — Families spent a bright and sunny Columbus Day exploring fire equipment, target practicing with a brush fire hose and learning how to safely exit a house in case of fire as Whitman Fire and Rescue hosts open house.
Informational brochures were available in the fire station, as well as red oven mitts in keeping with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) theme of “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”
Face-painting and free pizza from Papa Gino’s were also featured.
But the main message of the day was the importance of placing smoke detectors in every bedroom of the home.
“This is the ‘Hear the beep where you sleep,’ message,” said Whitman Fire/Rescue SAFE Officer Thomas Ford. “[NFPA] is trying to get people to put smoke detectors inside the bedrooms nowadays.”
Past guidelines called for the alarms in hallways outside of bedrooms, Deputy Chief Joseph Feeney said.
The department will take the Safety Awareness and Fire Education (SAFE) trailer around to Conley and Duval schools for an offical fire safety presentation, but on Monday the kids were laughing and running into the trailer over and over to experience the “smoke” and climb down the escape ladder.
Volunteers with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) were also on hand to guide visitors through their vehicle and explain their role.
Joseph Bauer of Whitman and his children chatted with CERT members Cathy Costello and Paul Moss.
Michael Bauer, 11, asked about the kinds of fires for which the CERT team offers support to firefighters. Costello said it could be anything from large brush fires to house fires. They also aid in large incident response, such as train accidents.
“We do first aid and give them food and keep them hydrated,” she said of the team’s role at emergency scenes. “We’re always prepared.”
Members’ availability is scheduled around work schedules, although some, like Moss, are retired.
“We also do sheltering, so if you guys lose your power, we come in and set up a shelter to keep people warm,” Costello said.