Station One in Kelligrews ablaze with activity for Fire Prevention Week

Open house a big success, with hundreds showing up to take part and learn about fire safety

Amy Fitzpatrick

Firefight and dog mascot give a thumbs up with a crowd behind them
Sparky the Fire Dog and firefighter Jack Stanley give a thumbs up at the Conception Bay South Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Week open house in Kelligrews on Saturday. Amy Fitzpatrick/Kicker

Jack Stanley was just one of the firefighters on hand to greet 400-500 guests at the two-hour open house held at Station One in Conception Bay South (C.B.S.) Saturday.

The open house was part of Fire Prevention Week (FPW), which has been observed during early to mid-October in fire departments across North America for close to a century.  According to Stanley, the turnout isn’t unusual.

“Fire prevention week is crazy here, which is good,” said Stanley. “We always get a lot of people. All ages. Certainly, a lot of kids like to come up and look at the trucks. We try our best to give them as much information as we can so it’s good to see a big turnout.”

Staying safe

The slogan chosen for this year’s FPW is “Look. Listen. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”

According the National Fire Prevention Association’s website, the slogan highlights the three basic steps you should take to avoid a fire, and if a fire should occur, how to react and escape safely. Those steps are:

Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Young boy hugs dog mascot.
Ryan Baggs, 4, gives Sparky the Fire Dog a hug at the open house in Kelligrews. Amy Fitzpatrick/Kicker

Family fun for everyone

The open house is an opportunity to educate the public and promote community engagement. The event is a big hit with families in the area.

Chantal Baggs of Kelligrews brought her two sons: Nicholas, six-months, and Ryan, who is two-and-a-half.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done this . . . It’s great, there’s a lot more going on here than I thought,” Baggs said.

The highlight for the kids was a toss-up between the bouncy castles, meeting Sparky the Fire Dog, the fire prevention week’s mascot, or having the opportunity to sit in the cab of one of the fire engines.

Ryan had already had his photo taken with Sparky and was heading out to wait in the line-up that snaked around the fire hall parking lot to get his chance to sit in one of the fire trucks.

Sherry Stringer, her husband and their four-year-old daughter Jada, said that they have lived just up the street for nine years but have never been to the fire station, but they were glad they came for the event.

Four-year-old Jada had no problem choosing her favourite part of the day, “When I saw Sparky and went in the bouncy castle.”

Jada’s father said that his favourite part was seeing the smile on his daughter’s face.

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