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Kids get fired up at annual Citizen’s Day

The LaGrange Fire Department hosted its fifth annual Citizen’s Day at LaGrange Mall on Saturday.  

“I like the smoke room the best,” said Kasen Beasley, a child participating. “We got to climb out the window.”  

The smoke room was a vehicle, set up inside to simulate a house on fire. Kids got the experience of staying low to the ground, crawling toward a window and climbing down a ladder. They were taught by fire personnel to get out of the house safely and go meet their family in a predetermined location, such as the mailbox.  

Children also got to put on a kid-sized firefighter’s uniform and run an obstacle course.  They climbed a small wall, raced through a tunnel, and carried a heavy hose shaped like a person.  They completed their run side-by-side with an actual fireman, spraying water from an actual firehose, with a child-friendly amount of pressure. 

From there, children lined up to ride around the parking lot in one of two fire trucks.

Kids could also get pictures with Sparky, a tall dalmatian mascot dressed in a firefighter’s uniform.      

 “Some of the activities are inside the mall.  We’re doing blood pressure checks, face painting, and some giveaways for Halloween,” said Firefighter Charles Purchase.

One of the face painters inside was Fireman Alex Aleman.  

“He’s an artist,” LaGrange Fire Chief John Brant said. “He designed our new patch.” 

 The patch is colorful and graphic, and unique to LaGrange. But Saturday Aleman was focused on painting unicorns, flames and flowers on young faces.     

“Each year, we try to build on what we’ve done before,” Brant said. “This year we added a raffle, with proceeds going to our Public Safety Crisis Fund.” 

 The fund helps families of first responders cover costs associated with recovering from an injury, or any time they might need help. The fund offers aid for firefighters, law enforcement, EMT’s, and 911 operators, whether in the county or in the city of LaGrange.     

Raffle giveaways included first aid kits, tool kits and baby safety items.  Entrants did not have to be present to win, another change for this year’s event.  

The LFD also partnered with the Troup County Fire Department and AMR.  

“We want to make this for all services,” Brant said. “It’s been a good turnout, and the weather’s great. It’s been a good day.”