City fire staion open house promotes fire awareness
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.
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.
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.