MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
For the second consecutive year, the Cherry Point Fire Department acknowledged National Fire Safety Month by hosting an open house oriented toward teaching children the importance of fire safety.
The Oct. 2 event was the first of two, the second open house occured Oct. 9.
The fire department also intends to partner with the fire department in Havelock, N.C., to visit local schools and hold workshops this month, explained Todd Wade, the assistant fire chief at Cherry Point.
The stars of the open house were the Cherry Point Fire Department’s mascots Sparky and Freddy. Sparky is a remote control fire truck that talks to the children, and Freddy is a giant Dalmatian who offers children “high-fours” in lieu of high-fives because he only has four digits on his paws.
While the children may enjoy spending time with Sparky and Freddy, Wade hopes they draw something very useful from the experience.
“We are hoping to teach them techniques that may save their lives one day,” Wade said.
Parents agreed with the importance of presenting safety lessons with a fun theme for the children.
“We came out here looking to offer the kids something fun to do and give them the chance to learn some fire safety,” said Cpl. Patrick M. Ramsey, a data noncommissioned officer with Marine Air Control Squadron 2 who brought his two children to the event.
Wade said while children enjoyed playing with the firefighting equipment and exploring the trucks, it was vital to familiarize them with fire fighters and their equipment.
“It’s important to introduce children to the gear so that in the event of a rescue situation, they’re not afraid of us,” Wade said.