Fire Station Hosts First Open House In Years

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By Nancy Rineman

Hampton Union, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Jake Bullard, 5, Parker Cutting, 7, and Bailey McDaniel, 8, check out Hampton's Zodiac Marine 2 at Saturday's Hampton Fire Department open house.
[Nancy Rineman photo]

HAMPTON -- The Hampton Fire Department opened its doors and its equipment at Station 2 on Winnacunnet Road to the entire Hampton community Saturday, in the department's first open house event in recent years.

A monstrous slide, the town's rescue lifeboat, and the Hampton's Fire Prevention Trailer were just some of the choices for families Saturday, along with a Junior Firefighter Agility Course for kids and the chance to climb into a firefighter's gear.

Fire Prevention Officer Jon True demonstrated how to put out a fire as he used different fire extinguishers to control a live burn.

Sam Smith, a sixth-grader at Hampton Academy, said he learned a few things from the fire extinguishing demonstration.

"I didn't know that water could make a fire bigger, if it's gas," Sam said.

He said he now knows which extinguisher to use for a gas fire.

"You should use a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher or a regular house extinguisher," Smith said.

Hampton Fire Prevention Officer Jon True demonstrates fire extinguisher use to the community at Saturday's Fire Department open house. [Nancy Rineman photo]

Former Hampton Fire Chief William "Skip" Sullivan and Deputy Fire Chief Steve Benotti shared some stories from some other fire department community events over the years.

"In 1974, we had a three-alarm fire right in the middle of it," Sullivan recalled.

It was a daylong event, starting at 10 a.m. and ending in mid-afternoon. There was a "Jaws of Life" automobile extrication reenactment at noon, and hot dogs, drinks and popcorn offered the entire time. Along with literature pamphlets offering advice on countless safety and emergency issues, kids got to leave with Halloween goodie bags, as well. James Squires, president of Local 2664, Professional Firefighters of Hampton, talked about Saturday's event, and how the Local got together to put on something "community based."

"It's the Hampton Fire Department Open House; we're the co-sponsors," Squires said.

Squires said that while the normal duty crew stood by showing visitors fire apparatus, 15 off-duty personnel were there not only as firemen, but were volunteering their time to help with the activities.

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