Safety is focus of Fire Fest | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Safety is focus of Fire Fest

Jeff Munson

Emergency and public safety helicopters of all varieties and purposes will return to Fire Fest this year.

CALSTAR, Care Flight, U.S. Forest Service H-516 and the California Highway Patrol’s H20 will land at South Tahoe Middle School for Fire Fest 2005, on Saturday, Oct. 8.

“It’s absolutely a positive program for the community. It gives everyone a chance to see what our fire departments and public utilities do,” said Jeff Michaels, fire chief of the Lake Valley Fire Protection District.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent or a child, organizers of the annual event say it is a unique opportunity to get a close-up look at these public safety machines. Crews will be on hand to answer questions and explain how the equipment helps them when they need it the most.

Fire Fest is hosted by Tahoe area fire agencies, including Lake Valley Fire District, the U.S. Forest Service, the Tahoe-Douglas Fire District, Fallen Leaf Fire District, the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and the Tahoe Basin Fire Safe Council, along with the Lake Tahoe Kiwanis Club.

This event highlights Fire Prevention Week and has evolved to include all of safety agencies, creating a day celebrating fire and life safety for children and families.

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Sierra Pacific Power, South Tahoe Public Utility District and South Tahoe Refuse have added energy conservation and home safety workshops to this event, making it a broad-ranging community event with interests for everyone.

El Dorado County Health Promotions, South Lake Tahoe Boys & Girls Club, and El Dorado County Sheriff STAR volunteers provide fingerprinting, bicycle safety exercises, car seat and other programs for children’s safety. The California Conservation Corps volunteers assist during the event. Food and beverages, provided by Kiwanis Club, are available.

Many agencies donate staff time to organize this event, while South Shore retailers provide prizes and displays that enable the event to deliver lots of positive information in an interesting way.

Activities include lots of fire engines and equipment, rollover vehicle demonstrations, auto extrication, police dog demonstrations, exhibits, free handout material and plenty of special attractions for children.

What does Fire Fest really achieve? Over the past 15 years, organizing agencies have distributed hundreds of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to homeowners and renters. Indirectly, Fire Fest organizers say the program has reduced incidents involving children and matches, established recognition and interaction with the people who help fire agencies in emergencies, fingerprinted hundreds of children, and created safer homes, vehicles, streets, neighborhoods and forests.

Fire Fest 2005

When:

–Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,

South Tahoe Middle School

— Free admission

Special Event: Helicopter display

— CALSTAR, Care Flight, U.S. Forest Service

H-516, California Highway Patrol H20

Scheduled Events (times to be announced)

— Ronald McDonald, police service dogs, fire house deployment competition, vehicle extrication demonstration, car seat safety checks

Demonstrations and photo events:

— Bomb squad, HazMat van, electrical safety demonstrations, police service dogs, rollover vehicle demonstrations, Smokey Bear memorabilia collection

For the kids:

Get a close up look at helicopters; meet Ronald McDonald, Smokey Bear and friends, escape from the Smoke House and learn to “stop, drop and roll,” face painting and finger printing; sit in a fire truck; wear fire fighting equipment and squirt fire hoses; win prizes, giveaways.