Open house events focus on safety and awareness

Learning not to panic during an emergency was part of the activity Saturday at the Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services Department Fire Prevention Week Open House.

Raising safety awareness was the underlying theme at the forefront Saturday, Oct. 5/2019, at the annual Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services Department Fire Prevention Week Open House at the fire hall and at the Touch-A-Truck event at the Port Colborne Operations Centre.

Both open house events were well attended by Port Colborne families.

Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 6 – Oct. 12/2019. This year’s theme is “Not Every Hero Wears A Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”

“Planning how to get out of the house if there is a fire, is an activity that should involve everyone in the household,” said Jon Pegg, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management in a Government of Ontario press release. “Having your kids lead the discussion on how to get out quickly and safely in a fire will help to ingrain positive fire safe behaviours that will have a lasting effect.”

At the open house hosted by the Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services Department, the theme was being delivered in a fun, friendly way for children and their families.

There were several activities geared at engaging and educating children, a stove demonstration to help children learn about the dangers around cooking, a descriptive display in the burn cell, and an obstacle course that had children start with being in bed, hearing the alarm, getting low, getting out of the room and meeting at a collection spot.

“We want to teach the children how to react when they hear a smoke alarm go off,” Charles Turpin, fire prevention officer, said. “We want them to know not to panic and to make their way to their escape route.”

The Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services Department’s fire safety education program is aimed at children.

“We teach the children so that they take it home with them,” Turpin said.

He also noted that the department has 150 smoke alarms that were recently donated for Port Colborne residents who have affordability problems. Residents need to call 905 834 4512 to book an appointment. Also, residents are urged to call the department to come out and inspect their house to make sure their fire alarm/carbon monoxide alarms are properly located.

The City of Port Colborne’s Touch-A-Truck event gave people the opportunity to get a close up look at the equipment the city uses.

Right next door, at the Port Colborne Operations Centre, the City of Port Colborne was holding a Touch-A-Truck event, inviting families to come out and see the machines in use by the City of Port Colborne.

“The leadership committee wanted to come up with an event to make the children smile,” Tim Anderson, senior mechanic, City of Port Colborne said. “So we came up with this event, we saw it years ago, thought it would help create more awareness to what we do around here.”

“It lets the kids see the equipment like the snowplow before the snow comes, they get to see how big the equipment is, how hard it is to operate and how hard it is to see little children if they get too close to the machine,” he said. “That was one of our goals.”

Proceeds from the event went towards morning breakfast clubs which helps kids in need get a healthy breakfast. There were also calendars for sale, the funds being donated to Port Cares.