LaGrange firefighters host Citizens Day
LaGRANGE — Lights and sirens from LaGrange Fire Department trucks lit up part of the LaGrange Mall parking lot and could be heard in the surrounding businesses Saturday afternoon.
Fortunately, there was no fire or emergency. Instead, the firefighters hosted their second annual Citizens Day.
“We wanted to do something that shows the citizens we appreciate them and their support for us,” explained LaGrange fire Lt. Chris Taylor. “The event also shows us in a different light to citizens, other than when they normally see us — in an emergency situation.”
Activities included rides around the mall in fire trucks, arts and crafts, plus a complex obstacle course where kids could put on fire fighting gear, crawl through large pipes, climb over hurdles and barriers, and “rescue” victims.
“I like it all,” said Silas Storey, 8.
Silas ran through the obstacle course several times and said he competed against his brother, Simon, 10, and his friends for the fastest time. His sister Sarah, 6, rode in the fire truck twice.
“They’ve enjoyed it,” the children’s grandmother told the Daily News. “It gave them something to do instead of just riding bikes or playing the Xbox (video game console).”
“The kids – and the adults – really seem to enjoy the fire truck rides,” said LaGrange Fire Lt. Chris Taylor. “We’ve had a lot of kids go through the obstacle course. The course is similar to what we use in a competition setting.”
October is also fire safety awareness month. The firefighters set up their fire safety house and allowed children to crawl through the building, while teaching them tips on what to do if there was a blaze in their own homes.
Firefighters chatted with folks about their campaign slogan, “Hear the beep where you sleep,” aimed at reminding people to keep a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Firefighters also reminded attendees to change the batteries in their smoke detectors, check to make sure the devices are working and buy a new detector if it is older than 10 years.
For the adults, crews held blood pressure screenings and handed out fire safety information pamphlets.
There was raffle drawings for gift baskets and gift cards, plus coloring books for the kids.
Taylor said the department already plans to hold another Citizens Day next year.