It was a beautiful fall day in Tewksbury on Sunday when the Fire Department opened their station for the annual open-house safety day.
Kids were treated to pink or red fire hats, stickers, coloring books, pizza and the opportunity to be a firefighter for a day, learning about all the equipment and even getting a chance to spray the fire hose.
"I feel this gives the kids a better understanding and a feeling of comfort if they ever need us in a time of crises," said Christina Merrill firefighter and S.A.F.E. instructor. "We want to always express to them that we are there to help and by having us in their classrooms and inviting them to 'our house' we hope that this shows them we are their friends."
The firehouse open house coincides with the national fire safety week. During the past week, and concluding next week, Merrill spends time in the school teaching fire safety and prevention to the younger children. The purpose of safety week is to teach the children that firefighters are their friends she said.
"After talking with the kids we will then get geared up, complete with the air tank, to show them how we look different and sound different if we ever have to come to their house in an emergency," Merrill said. "After all that we have one of our Fire Trucks over so that the kids can see the different kinds of tools that we use and we let them walk through the back."
Part of the open house included a S.A.F.E house, where they had a simulated smoke fire for the children to experience.
"We bring the children into the house, using fake smoke, we teach them what to do incase they are ever in a fire," Fire Chief Richard Mackey said. "It is a great educational piece for us."
They day also included child fingerprinting by safety officer Jennie Welch of the Tewksbury Police Department and a demonstration of the Jaws of Life.
In the middle of a day of fun and education, the eager young eyes got to see first hand the quick steps and superhero-like change the firefighters make in matter of seconds, to go from life to lifesaving, when just prior to the Jaws of Life demonstration the sirens sounded and the department was called out on an emergency.