GREENVILLE – The Greenville Fire Department hosted a Fire Prevention Open House on Sunday at its station inside the Greenville Municipal Building.
The event included activities such as guided tours of the fire station, an inflatable tent for kids to explore, demonstrations of proper fire safety equipment use and lectures on topics related to fire safety awareness.
The theme for Sunday’s event was “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.”
Greenville City Councilman Douglas Wright was present for the event. Wright, who also is a Liberty Township firefighter, said he found the open house to be a great opportunity to connect with those in the community.
“I just wanted to come and help out, meet the people and see if they have any questions about what’s going on in the city,” Wright said.
Wright stressed that fire safety handouts and free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors also were available at the event.
“The Red Cross and Greenville Fire Department are signing people up for the detectors, and they’ll come out and install them for you at no cost,” Wright said.
Wright had high praise for the men and women of the City of Greenville Fire Department, who battled multiple fires, including ones on East Water Street and Wayne Avenue, the previous evening.
“Most of these guys were out all night working fires,” Wright said. “They go home, clean up, go to bed, then come back in today and do all this. They’re dedicated people.”
One of those dedicated firefighters is Lt. Dirk Lewis, who was enthusiastic about the attendance for Sunday’s event.
“We’re ecstatic about the turnout and thankful for the good weather,” Lewis said. “This is probably our best turnout ever.”
Lewis made a point to thank those in the Greenville community who were instrumental in making the open house a reality.
“It’s a big thank you to all the businesses that give back to the community and make it so we can do events like this,” Lewis said. “All of our signs, equipment, the tent for the kids. It was all purchased using donated funds.”
The most important part of Sunday’s event, everyone present agreed, is educating Greenville’s children about fire safety.
“It’s all about the kids,” Lewis said. “About making sure that they’re not scared of the fire department or the firefighters and teaching them skills that can save their lives.”
Greenville Township firefighter Chris Norris agreed.
“It’s about meeting with the kids and reinforcing fire safety,” Norris said. “Little kids aren’t always used to seeing us in full gear, and it can be scary for them. So we let them watch us put it all on then we take it off piece by piece and let them look at it.”
Lewis shared a number of fire safety tips, including the importance of changing the batteries in smoke detectors twice a year.
“Do it when you set the clocks back in the spring and fall,” Lewis said. “That’s a good reminder, and that way you know you’re doing it twice a year.”
Lewis also suggested making a family escape plan so that everyone in the household knows what to do in case of a fire.
“And, of course, as always, call 911 in case of an emergency,” Lewis said. “We like to put that out there whenever we can.”