Posted on 04 June 2015 by La Habra Journal
By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal
Fire engines and equipment filled the La Habra Community Center parking lot Saturday, but it wasn’t because of an emergency.
Fire Brigade: Back row: Matthew Seidel and Kainoa McMillan; Front Row: Malia McMillan and Michel Azpeitia ride on one of La Habra’s old fire trucks. Children and adults alike were able to get up close to fire equipment at Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Fire Service day in La Habra on Saturday.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department hosted La Habra’s first Fire Service Day where the public got to get an up-close and personal look at all of the department’s equipment. Vehicles from each division of the department were stationed in the parking lot for guests to peruse and accompanied by firefighters to answer any questions. On hand was one of the actual paramedic trucks used in the popular 1970s television show “Emergency.” Squad 51 was allowed out of the LACFD museum to be on hand for residents to reminisce about the show. The lot was also filled with various booths from the La Habra Host Lions, food vendors, the La Habra High School Cheer bake sale, and B.R.A.K.E.S., a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching teens to be safe and responsible drivers. There were two vehicle extrication and K-9 demonstrations performed to ensure that all of the guests were able to witness the action. KIA donates cars to both B.R.A.K.E.S. for their classes and the Los Angeles Fire Department for their demonstrations and training. Representatives from B.R.A.K.E.S. came along to support the event. “All of our instructors are certified professional race car drivers,” said volunteer Jim Stillinger. “Our goal is to teach teens how to respond in potentially dangerous driving situations and have them be more comfortable behind the wheel.” Inside the community center, guests were welcome to explore the booths with safety information, find out more information about La Habra’s city events, and shop the Los Angeles County Fire Department apparel. There was also an area for children to visit to get their faces painted and participate in arts and crafts.
Each booth included information on public safety, including the La Habra Water Department, the Community Emergency Response Team, Search and Rescue, and the Forestry Division of the Prevention Services Bureau.
LHJ Fire Service Day 2015
“Our division is responsible for soil erosion, tree planting, and recording the logistics necessary for emergencies,” explained Jon Baker, Deputy Forester of the San Dimas Forestry Division. The Forestry Division handed out pamphlets with information on wildfire safety, mini first-aid kits, and 150 trees. “The Forestry Department actually started the Los Angeles Fire Department,” said Scott Gardner, Deputy Forester at the LAFD. “The Forestry Department was founded in 1911 and then expanded into the Los Angeles Fire Department about 10 years later.” Members of the CERT team were there to supply more information on fire safety and training. CERT teams are made up of community volunteers who are trained in fire and emergency safety. “If we can’t get to a job quickly enough, CERT can go in and handle the situation until we get there,” said Fire Inspector Chris Reade. There was also a booth for the Department’s Highland Games and Pipes & Drums teams. The Highland Games were designed for firefighters to participate in to raise money for memorials for both fallen and retired firefighters, funerals for fallen firefighters and assistance to their family members. The Pipes & Drums musicians are nonprofit organization that consists of 12 members, each with no musical background. They work to continue to raise the visibility of the fire department and of firemen who lost their lives or were hurt in the line of duty. “Pipes & Drums is a great way to connect with other firemen across the nation,” said Todd Emrick of the LAFD. Overall, the LAFD was very pleased with the turnout of this event. “I think the city of La Habra needed to see all that the department has to offer,” said Steven Martin, Acting Deputy Fire Chief of the East Region. “This event has been exceptional,” said La Habra Parks and Recreation Manager David De Leon. “If we do this again next year, I can see attendance tripling.” Fire Service Day was a way to build a platform for the city’s Fire Department and engage the community in their services.
Based on the number of attendees and hearing their conversations, the community was very pleased with the results of the event and the information in fire safety that was provided throughout the day.