SAFETY FIRST­HAND

City fire staion open house pro­motes fire aware­ness

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOSEPH B. NADEAU jnadeau@woonsock­et­call.com

WOONSOCKET — A fire safety aware­ness night at the city fire depart­ment’s head­quar­ters, Sta­tion 2, Cum­ber­land Hill Road, drew a big crowd of in­ter­ested par­ents and their chil­dren Wed­nes­day evening for what proved to be a fun learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The kids could try con­trol­ling a real fire line with Lt. Scott Hamp­son, take a tour of the fire sta­tion and all its gear, or par­tic­i­pate in sev­eral other learn­ing crafts and demon­stra­tions with the as­sis­tance of the depart­ment mem­bers that might some day help them in an emer­gency.

Fire Chief Paul Sha­traw said the sta­tion open house was held as part of na­tional Fire Safety Week.

“We have a lot of ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­ri­als for the kids and their fam­i­lies and the idea is to raise aware­ness for fire safety in the home,” Sha­traw said. The chil­dren and their par­ents were in­structed on the im­por­tance of have work­ing smoke de­tec­tors in­stalled in their homes and also safety items such as fire ex­tin­guish­ers in the kitchen.

The evening’s dis­plays in­cluded the a Fire Safety House sent along by the R.I. Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice which showed fam­i­lies how cook­ing fires can start and also meth­ods for quickly and safely ex­it­ing a dwelling where a fire has bro­ken out.

The open house is of­fered in ad­di­tion to the reg­u­lar school vis­its lo­cal fire­fight­ers make to teach chil­dren about safety skills such as calling 911, drop and roll to ex­tin­guish flames, and also how to set a safe meet­ing place out­side a home in case an emer­gency oc­curs.

Deputy Fire Chief Rus­sell Cote said the chil­dren were also given fire safety col­or­ing books and other safety ma­te­ri­als to take home with them.

Best of all, the kids got to meet real fire­fight­ers and check out all their safety gear.

“They are ac­tu­ally see­ing what we do tonight,” he said while adding that could be a big help if a real emer­gency oc­curs.

Paulo Silva of Black­stone brought his young daugh­ter Paula to the aware­ness night and noted she is not afraid of fire trucks. “We go by the North Smith­field Fire Sta­tion on St. Paul Street and she loves to see them,” he said.

Lisa Con­nolly took her chil­dren and one of their friends to the sta­tion af­ter learn­ing about it at the Gov. Aram Poth­ier El­e­men­tary School.

“We went in­side the fire sta­tion to check it out and they have arts and crafts and goody bags for the kids to take home,” she said. “They even got a fire call while we were in the sta­tion and they went out and came back,” she added.

David Daneault and his wife, Becky, of Woonsocket, watched as their daugh- ter, Emily, signed her name on the gold and white Child­hood Can­cer Aware­ness fire truck parked out­side the sta­tion to sup­port its mis­sion. Becky Daneault said Emily has two cousins who are now can­cer free af­ter treat­ment for leukemia and her fam­ily sup­ports the ef­fort to fight can­cer when­ever they can. “Ev­ery lit­tle bit helps,” she said.

The fire truck, op­er­ated by the Col­ors for a Cause or­ga­ni­za­tion out of Charlestown, raises money to pro­vide the fam­i­lies of can­cer pa­tients with gift cards for food and fuel while un­der­go­ing treat­ment.

Joseph B. Nadeau pho­tos

Above, from left, Sa­man­tha Grif­fin, 7, and Sophia, 5, and Elias Con­nolly, 6, of Woonsocket, play on the Child­hood Can­cer Aware­ness fire truck. At right, Woonsocket Fire Chief Paul Sha­traw stands with Sparky the Fire Dog dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s open house.

Joseph B. Nadeau photo

Lt. Scott Hamp­son helps Ed­ward Schaier, 7, of Woonsocket, di­rect a fire line at some tar­get chairs while Ed­ward’s step fa­ther, Chip Tut­tle watches be­hind them.

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