Public Safety Open House a welcoming and educational event for the community
- Categorized in: Community
Tucker Kinney found out what it was like to be in the driver’s seat of one of Lunenburg’s Fire Trucks this weekend during the Lunenburg Public Safety Open House. The Open House was held, in part, to celebrate Fire Prevention Month.
Story & photo by Paul Wnuk
"People usually take firefighters for granted. They never really appreciate them until they need them.”
This is according to Lunenburg’s Town Manager Kerry Speidel, who believes it’s important to have a full-time and dedicated fire department. This month is Fire Prevention Month, which was started to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1971. That devastating fire lasted two days in ‘71 and killed over 250 people. It destroyed over 2,000 acres of land.
Some of the ways firefighters promote fire safety and Fire Prevention Month is by going to public schools between kindergarten and third grade, as well as daycares, and talk to kids about the importance of fire safety including what to do if they see a fire, and how to get out of a burning building.
The Lunenburg Fire Department had their annual Fire Prevention Month Open House on Saturday, Oct. 20. This was open for anyone and their families where they could explore inside all the fire trucks and ambulances. They could also ask the firefighters any questions they may have about the procedure for stopping a fire and how all the trucks and equipment work. There is also a section where kids can dress up as firefighters and pretend to put out a fire using an actual fire hose.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, there were 29,110 fires in the state of Massachusetts in 2011. This number went down by 11 percent from 2010. The number of structural fires has gone down 3 percent at 18,178 fires this year, while motor vehicle fires have gone up 1 percent this year at 2,997 fires.
For the first time, the main cause of structural fires in the last year has not been cigarette smoking. Instead, the main cause of structural fires has been electrical problems.
The number of fires caused by arson has changed this year as well. The number of structural arson has decreased by 17 percent, while motor vehicle arson has increased by 8 percent. Even though motor vehicle arson has increased this year, the number of motor vehicle arson has decreased by 98 percent since 1985.
The number of fires in Massachusetts has gone down, but there are still fires that sometimes happen.
According to Lunenburg Fire Chief Patrick Sullivan, “It’s gotten better, but there is still a long way to go. People don’t think it will ever happen to them.”
Fire Prevention Month is an event that happens every October.
During the other months, firefighters continue to go to public schools and daycares to teach kids the importance of fire safety and how to avoid causing a fire as well as what to do during a fire emergency.
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