On Saturday May 21, Estes Park had their annual safety fair I was able to experience for the first time. While setting up I was able to go through the engine and learn a lot more about it and the tools on it. For example, my supervisor explained to me what a hard line was and he also showed me how to run the pumps on the rig. I was then fortunate enough to run the pumps myself a few times in order to fill up bladder bags for the kids.
The kids would use the bladder bags to put out a fake fire on the game we had made. The game was a piece of wood that had flame cutouts. The children would shoot water from the bladder bags onto the cutouts and knock the flames over. I enjoyed working with the kids because not only did I get to review all the tools but I got to teach the kids something new. I believe talking to the kids about what we do and how we do it was very beneficial because I know that when I was little I had no idea there was even such a thing as wildland firefighters. I thought that all firefighters were residential firefighters. I also thought that all fire was put out with water. I had no idea wildland firefighters used tool such as pulaski’s and shovels to put out fires. I feel like many kids think these things too, so I believe it was important for them to know what we are all about.
However, I wish we could have brought one of the module trucks so the kids could see what we travel in and everything in our trucks. Especially the packs we carry around with us and our nomex shirts so they know what we wear. I feel like this would have been more beneficial because I believe several kids think we wear bunker gear like residential firefighters. It was also unfortunate that we did not get to set up a display table because I think people would have asked more questions had it been set up.
The rest of the fair was also fun. There was a K-9 unit that had their dog attack people in specialized suits that prevented them from getting injured. It was entertaining to watch. There was also a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) display that I found really interesting. Through that display I found that most of Estes Park has a high fire risk when it comes to the WUI area. This wasn’t much of a surprise to me however, I think that people in the area should really adapt and adopt the firewise program.