Safety open house in Paris to spark interest

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PARIS — What started off as an open house for the Paris Fire Department has expanded into a first responders’ safety day for all residents of Oxford Hills to enjoy.

Paris Firefighter and EMT Zachary Creps sits on one of the department's trucks that will be available for viewing at the first ever Fire, Police, Highway, EMS Open House, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at the fire station, 137 Western Ave.
Paris Firefighter and EMT Zachary Creps sits on one of the department’s trucks that will be available for viewing at the first ever Fire, Police, Highway, EMS Open House, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at the fire station, 137 Western Ave.

The first-ever Fire, Police, Highway, EMS Open House will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Paris Fire Station at 137 Western Ave. The event is free and previews national Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Sunday, Oct. 4 through Saturday, Oct. 10, according to EMT/Firefighter and event organizer Zachary Creps, who also heads the department’s Fire Prevention program.

Discussion with Fire Chief Brad Frost about holding such an event began two months ago as a way to bring involve more of the community and inform residents what first responders do, Creps said late last week. This is the first time the department has hosted an event like this and when Creps brought it up, the chief was on board.

“I love to show the station anyway — what the different tools are, the turnout gear, the cost,” Frost said from his office on Friday. “I love it when people are here.”

That’s one of the reasons they decided to invite more departments and organizations to join in. There will be a touch-a-truck portion of the event, where kids and adults alike can check out a plow truck and loader from the Highway Department, a Police Department’s cruiser and an ambulance from PACE Paramedic Services, in addition to all of the Fire Department’s vehicles.

Police will also finger print and snap photos of children to create SAFE cards in case they ever go missing, Creps said.

He sees the open house as an extension of the Fire Prevention program, where members of the department visit schools, day care facilities and senior housing complexes to talk about fire safety, extinguisher training, minimizing fire and trip hazards and creating escape routes and plans.

Also on tap are two live demonstrations with the first at 11 a.m.

“It’s going to show the difference on how fire can spread when something is sprinkled and when … a house is not sprinkled,” Creps said. “It’s a huge difference.”

At 1 p.m. is the vehicle extrication demonstration, showing how to rescue someone trapped in a car.

“They will be stabilizing a vehicle and showing how they have to use the tools that we have to spend quite a money on,” Creps said. “We can cut a door open or cut off a roof and (show) how essential they are to fire service.”

There will be a show and tell with tools all of the area’s first responders use in their daily work.

“A lot of the public doesn’t know what we have, what we use it for and why we need it,” Creps said.

But the day isn’t all about business, there’s some fun scheduled. There will be face painting and a bounce house for kids, along with refreshments of popcorn, ice cream and hot dogs.

Creps noted the open house isn’t costing the taxpayers a dime.

“This event was made possible by donations,” he said.

A number of local businesses and organizations pitched in to help bring the open house together, including the Paris Firemen’s Relief Association, Paris Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary, KBS Building Systems, Norway Fire Department, Aubuchon Hardware, the Inside Scoop, Oxford Hills Fire Prevention, Hannaford and Oxford Federal Credit Union.

“People have been good,” Frost said.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Paris-Fire-Departments-Fire-Prevention-Program-74412259.