Fire Prevention Week activities culminate Saturday

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By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Delhi Charter Township Fire Department hosted its annual open house Thursday. The department opened its doors to residents from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Visitors to the station on Aurelius Road could look at the firefighters’ equipment and ask questions about fire safety and prevention. Children participated in activities that taught them how to handle fire extinguishers and how to be safe at home in case of an emergency.

The department also provided safety information for adults. The department gave smoke alarms and pamphlets to township residents. Also available were items like the “vial of life,” a magnetic list where residents can write down their medical information to assist emergency personnel.

“Everyone’s probably heard about it as a kid and still people don’t practice it,” Assistant Chief Brad Drury said of fire safety. “You only do in an emergency what you know and what you’ve been trained to do. It all becomes critical.”

Drury, who worked with the Lansing Fire Department for 20 years before switching to Delhi, said a high percentage of fire-related fatalities occur because people fail to check their smoke detectors regularly.

Drury said Fire Prevention Week was first established to commemorate the Chicago Fire of 1871, in which hundreds of people died and thousands were displaced.

On Saturday, several area fire departments will put on demonstrations at Eastwood Towne Center to wrap up fire prevention week. Drury said the firefighters will be working with live burn cells and demonstrating high-angle rescues. He added that there will also be refreshments and a bounce house.

“We try to do things that draw more people in. We try to get more involved than just the open house. We actually send out crews to the schools, the senior centers, trying to get this message out,” Drury said.

DeAnn Crippen’s son, Brian, is a firefighter with Delhi Charter Township. She says it’s rough at times, but it helps to know he’s well-trained.

“He told me when he was about 4 years old that he wanted to be a fireman,” she said.

Kash Boettcher said this is the second year in a row he’s attended the open house. “It was a good, positive experience for them to know what to do,” the 52-year-old said.

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