Nine-year-old Emily Glee Vu clutched her stuffed animal tightly as she carefully listened to a firefighter describe equipment on a fire truck. Three-year-old David Benjamin Mikel, decked out in full firefighter gear, concentrated his attention on using a small fire hose to knock out flames in six windows of a cardboard house. And, dozens of residents stood in awe as a “victim” was extricated from a vehicle using the “Jaws of Life”.
All of this action and more took place during Missouri City’s First Annual Fire & Rescue Services Open House on Oct. 6 at Fire Station 1 at 3849 Cartwright Rd.
In the live vehicle extrication presentation, Mark Day played the role of an accident victim and was completely covered by a sheet during the entire demonstration. He was accompanied by a firefighter who sat in the back seat and comforted him throughout the exercise, while other firefighters outside of the car used various rescue tools, including the “Jaws of Life”, to cut off doors and break windows in order to get him safely out of the car.
“The firefighter who stays in the back seat of the car has an important job and lets the driver know what to expect the entire time, whether it is pops and cracks or other sounds that he or she will hear,” said Day, a former firefighter and training officer. “You never know when these types of extrication tools will be needed because each accident is different, but they are essential.”
Dozens of residents also watched firefighters demonstrate how to properly use fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, took tours of the firehouse and learned how to safely exit a home during a fire.
The Citizens’ Police and Fire Auxiliary was on hand to accept donations for homemade Rice Krispie treats, chocolate chip cookies, donuts, potato chips and drinks.
And residents took advantage of an opportunity to sign up on the spot to take part in the H-E-B Healthy Challenge that encourages healthy lifestyles.
Many residents were thrilled with the first time open house. “This is one of those things he’ll be talking about later,” said Terri Mays, whose 3-year-old grandson, Cameron, loves fire trucks. “This is great, absolutely wonderful.”
After seeing an article in a local newspaper, Greg Eppes, his wife Jill and their three children, 3-year-old Paxton, 2-year-old Camille and 10-month-old Ellen, decided to stop by for lots of pictures. “They are all excited to see the fire trucks, and this is neat,” Greg Eppes said.
The Fire & Rescue Services plans to make the open house an annual educational event to share information about fire safety programs with the community.