An open house held at the fire station Tuesday night was a mix of fun and fire prevention education.
Sparky the Dalmatian was joined by Herbie the fire hydrant to inject a dose of humor into the safety fair at the Helena Fire Department station at the Civic Center.
The department has held an open house during National Fire Prevention Week for at least the last 10 years. This year’s message is “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With.”
Shirley and Karl Wilczynski took their 3-year-old grandson, Luke, to the event.
“It was great. I thought it was very good,” Shirley Wilczynski said, as her grandson talked with Herbie the fire hydrant.
“The talking hydrant is very interesting,” she added.
Karl Wilczynski said the evening was fun and that his grandson seemed to pick up a few lessons.
A puppet show taught those who attended about fire safety, such as stopping, dropping to the ground, covering your face and rolling if you catch on fire.
The firefighters even had a stop, drop and roll dance and song for the safety tip.
Deputy Fire Marshal Keith Simendinger said the evening was a hit and by about 5:30 p.m., they had already had more attendees than last year’s open house.
The event is a good chance to show families what the firefighters do on a daily basis, he said.
Throughout this week, firefighters will be giving second-grade classes from the Helena area tours of the station in addition to fire safety lessons. More than 800 students get to see a firefighter in full gear so that children get used to the sight and are not afraid, Simendinger said.
“We’re here to help educate. We send out a lot of messages,” he said.
Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078 or email@example.com