Open House A Great Success

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, October 26, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
'Jaws of Life' at work

HAMPTON -- Hampton Fire/Rescue held a well-attended open house at the uptown fire station on Saturday, with about 15 members from Local 2664 and Local 3017 volunteering their time at the event.

"[We] came out today to show the folks what we do on a regular basis [and] get in better touch with the community," said James Squires, president of Local 2664, Professional Firefighters of Hampton.

People of all ages gathered to watch various informative demonstrations involving the proper use of fire extinguishers (featuring live fire) and utilizing the "Jaws of Life" to perform an auto extrication (that is, pry open a wrecked car).

The department's mobile fire prevention trailer was open for weather and fire safety demos, and kids had a ball exploring an impressive selection of emergency vehicles and other fire apparatus while wearing their plastic firefighter helmets.

One of the most-visited activities was the "Junior Firefighters Agility Course," which had the kids weaving through orange cones, crawling through "smoke," transporting tools, carrying "victims" to safety, running a fire hose and using a stream of water to knock down bowling pins.

Firefighter Dave Blatchford estimated that about 300 children had run the course, with an hour and a half still left to go in the four-hour event.

"It's been great," he observed.

"We haven't done this for a number of years," said Deputy Fire Chief Chris Silver. "It's such a great tool for teaching kids about safety."

The open house also included a "firefighter dress-up" activity, car seat safety checks, a giant inflatable truck slide, refreshments courtesy of Hannaford, and "swag bags" that guests could fill with all kinds of goodies to bring home.

The overall opinion appeared to be that the open house was a complete success all the way around.

"It's a great turn-out," said retired Captain, Rusty Bridle. "It's been awesome for the kids."

The children's Obstacle Course.
Boy in Rescue Boat.
Jon True demonstrates fire extinguishing.
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