Safety Awareness Day A Great Success

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The Port Colborne Fire Hall was full of excitement and fun this past Saturday for the 23rd Annual Safety Awareness Day.
Families were able to get up close and inside fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and police ATV’s. Plus meet the men and women who risk their lives to help protect our citizens. Being able to meet firefighters and police in full gear in a safe environment helps to make them not so frightening in an emergency situation. Firefighters also set up interactive fire displays to teach children what to do in different emergency situations. If you are in your bed and you hear the smoke alarm go off what to do. What should you do if your door is hot, then climb out the window and go to the meeting place.
Children were also encouraged to bring their bicycles and helmet to participate in the bicycle rodeo. Children who did not bring a bicycle were encouraged to just walk the course as they still gained valuable safety information.
The Port Colborne Optimist Club ran the bicycle rodeo and also made balloon animals for the children. Janet Pilon, President of the Optimist Club said “It was a great day, we had a lot of kids do the obstacle course. We partner with the city and the fire department to help them out.” New this year the optimist handed out books “we have a bunch of books here and the children can help themselves to as many as they would like,” said Pilon.
Aubrey Foley from the Broken Spoke Program at Port Colborne High School was also on hand to do any bicycle repairs, hand out cycling maps and information.
The Port Colborne Fire Department cooked up some free hot dogs, pop corn and cotton candy for everyone to enjoy. The big event of the day was the controlled burn again this year to demonstrate how quickly a smoke alarm will sound and how quickly a fire can spread and get out of control. Within 10 seconds of the fire starting the smoke detector went off. In a minute and half the room was fully engulfed and unsurvivable. Scott Lawson, Fire Prevention Officer stated that the fire department is “on scene with in four minutes of the phone call. But a lot of times we don’t get that phone call for the first five or six minutes.”
It is not the fire that kills people it is the smoke “one big inhale of all of the toxins in the smoke now a days. It is not like wood or camp fire smoke, it is all that plastic and synthetic oils, it creates so many more toxins. That is the stuff you breathe in and you are not going to survive,” said Lawson.
Fire Chief Tom Cartwright said “it was a great success and most kids went home with a gift.” Cartwright had one take home message for everyone, “When you are out and about on a bicycle be safe and remember fire safety at all times in your home.”