LONG ISLAND, NY- The Hicksville Fire Department recently held their annual Open House, welcoming the community to an exciting event that not only provided an afternoon of fun, but access to valuable safety information and tools as well.
Families lining up for rides on Hicksville FD fire trucks. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle.
Held at the Hicksville Fire Department’s Strong Street Fire House Station #3 on West John Street, the event featured a variety of activities – both indoors and out in the parking lot – aimed at showing the public just how hard firefighters work to safeguard their lives and property on a daily basis, according to Assistant Chief Richard Diaz.
“It’s about fire prevention, and it’s also an opportunity for the kids and the rest of the community to just come down here and see what we here at the Fire Department do,” he said. “It’s about education, but it’s also about fun, as the kids can get rides on the fire trucks, meet Santa Claus, and learn about basic fire safety so that they know what to do if their house ever catches on fire. It’s a great day and something that we enjoy doing every year.”
Dressing up a fire truck for the holiday season. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle.
Kids present at the Open House learned how to put out simple kitchen stove fires, escape smoky rooms via a window and ladder, handle a fire hose, and – obviously the highlight based on the long lines – speed around the neighborhood in a real fire truck, lights and sirens blaring all the while.
Hicksville FD Assistant Chief Richard Diaz. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle.
However, it’s not all about fun and games, Diaz noted, as the Hicksville FD’s parking lot was filled with serious demonstrations illustrating the dangers that present themselves when proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
“We’re going to have some of our firefighters dismantle a car later on to simulate extracting occupants that have been an accident,” he said. “We’re also going to have a live Christmas tree burn…we have a mock living room set up, complete with tree and furniture, and we’re going to show what happens when your tree get too dry in your house and it goes on fire.”
Firefighters dismantling a vehicle using the Jaws of Life. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle.
In addition, a huge variety of useful items were given out to the public – completely free – including brand-new smoke detectors, flashlights, first-aid kits, and more.
Shreya, age 9, bravely hopped out of a window and scaled down a ladder during a simulation of a house fire held in a trailer in the Hicksville FD’s parking lot. She said that she had learned a great deal that day about how to keep bother and her family safe in the event of a fire.
“We learned that when there’s a fire in the house we go out the window and then once we’re out we call the Fire Department, and you always need to check to make sure your smoke detector is working and the batteries are good,” she said. “And we have to stay close to the floor when we’re trying to escape because of the smoke and before you open a door you have to check if the door is hot or cold so you know if there’s a fire behind it. I learned a lot.”
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