This is National “Fire Prevention Week.” In Atlantic, Harlan and elsewhere, fire department members served-up breakfast for a free-will donation for area residents and offered demonstrations of various sorts, yesterday (Sunday). John Bolton, Atlantic Fireman, said the fundraiser served to help bring the annual Fireman’s Parade to Atlantic. The parade takes place this coming Saturday, Oct. 11th. It starts at 6-p.m. Participants will line-up at 4-p.m. at 3rd & Olive Street, and will proceed South on Walnut to 6th street over to Chestnut and go North to 2nd Street.
This year’s theme is: “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives Test Yours Every Month.” Awards will be given for: Farthest Away Department, Most Members From 1 Department and many others. The parade, which wraps-up Fire Prevention Week, includes lots of family-oriented activities. Bolton says there will be a professional clown and face-painter, their will be bag-pipe players, and dancers.
During Fire Prevention Week, Firefighters will be in area schools , to talk about fire safety, and offer demonstrations of smoke detectors, so children will be aware of what they sound like when detectors go-off, and not be afraid. Bolton says they also put on their turn-out gear to show children they shouldn’t be afraid of firefighters, and let them know they’re there to help.
Bolton says kids are sometimes afraid of firefighters because with all their gear on, they look like “Aliens or robots.” He says to alleviate that fear, fire crews will appear in plain clothes, then put on their equipment piece-by-piece and demonstrate their microphones – how they communicate with each other – and then take the equipment off, to show once again…they are humans.
They also teach children how to deal with smoke in the home that may be from an unseen fire, and what they should do if they see smoke or flames, or if the detector goes off. Bolton says batteries on smoke detectors should be checked monthly, there should be a detector in the center of each room, and hallways.
Firefighters will also take kids for rides on a fire truck, and “Freddy the Fire Truck” will explain to children where they should be standing (in their yards), if they see a fire truck heading down the street, and that they shouldn’t go up to the scene.