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Having fun with emergency personnel

Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Scott Denham walks a little one in ”beer goggles,” that simulate what it’s like to drive impaired. ERIN TIERNEY/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE

Shiny fire engines, free food, smoke mazes and a cute movie; not a bad way to spend a Friday night in Creswell.
The South Lane County Fire & Rescue (SLCF&R) Creswell Station Movie Night at the Firehouse & Safety Fair was held Friday, Sept. 14 in Creswell, drawing crowds from Creswell and neighboring communities to hang out with emergency personnel.
This year was the biggest event to date, bringing in over 300 people to Creswell and around 475 to the same SLCF&R event in Cottage Grove on Sept. 15.
The family-oriented event, now in its sixth year, ”has grown significantly since its inception,” SLCF&R Captain Paramedic Aaron Smith said. He was inspired to host this fair as a tool for education and community outreach.
It’s about having a presence in the community, Smith said. He likes to think of the event as a yearly open house for the fire station.
The fair was held in the blocked off section of South 1st Street in front of the fire station. Along with SLCF&R, Teen CERT, Creswell’s Lane County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), LifeFlight Network, Oregon Department of Forestry were also at the fair, handing out literature and giving demonstrations.
Smokey the Bear gave out high fives and frisbees, while emergency personnel dished out free hot dogs and goodies.
LCSO Sergeant Scott Denham encouraged both kids and adults to try to walk a straight line in impairment, or ”drunk” goggles, which simulate what what it is like to drive with a high blood alcohol concentration.
Kids crawled all over a giant inflatable fire truck slide outside the firehouse, which ”brings the most joy to the kids,” Smith said. ”It seems to have the longest line throughout the night. ”
Families made their way through a smoke maze set up inside the fire station. The smoke maze showed kids what it would be like to be in a ”smoke-filled” room – teaching them to stay low, crawl quickly and get out as soon as possible in the event of a fire.
SLCF&R personnel assisted kids in spraying a firehose at a cutout of a burning house, where kids tried to hit the targeted areas of ”fire” on the board.
Kids got free junior firefighter hats and junior police badges, and received goody bags with useful information and tips on fire prevention and safety.
Kids climbed and inspected the a SLCF&R ladder truck and the LCSO deputy car. Fire safety booths provided fire prevention literature, goody bags and free bike helmets were given to kids, and a golf cart fitted to look like a LifeFlight helicopter gave kids a spin around in the parking lot.
”The parents and older children enjoy the Jaws of Life demonstration the most,” Smith said of the demonstration that was given just before the movie.
At dusk, families gathered in blankets and on lawn chairs for the showing of a free children’s movie, ”Ferdinand,” the inflatable outdoor screen.
SLCF&R wants the community to see how their support fuels the District, Smith said, and serves as a way of giving back.
Last year, the fire station added a new fleet consisting of two pumpers, one aerial, one tender and one wildland interface engine, as a result of voters passing the 2015 GO Bond.
This fair is way for taxpayers to see the benefits of that bond, Smith said, to see their votes at work at the fire station, and to connect emergency personnel with the community they protect.

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