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Letter: Hicksville Fire Department Open House

As much as the organizers of the Hicksville Fire Department’s Holiday Fire Safety Open House would like to think, fire safety took a back seat to fire engine rides and Santa. A good turnout of more than 500 people attended the open house.

The members who donated their time handing out fire safety information, answering questions do hope they helped make the holidays in Hicksville safer. It was the first time the department offered fire truck rides. All the thanks go to the Board of Fire Commissioners for their approval. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know folks are not going to turn out just to get fire safety information. Fires hit the other folks, not us. Right? That is the prevailing opinion all over.

Efforts were made to provide information that would help a family survive a fire. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, home escape planning and holiday safety information were the main focus for our residents. A smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector with a bad battery is not going to save a life. Know the sound of a detector chirping telling you to replace the battery – a single chirp is not the signal to call firefighters to respond. A steady alarm is the signal for you to get up, get out and call for help.

If you don’t have an escape plan ahead of time, and the smoke is pushing in under your closed bedroom door, your alarm sounding, you’re choking, it’s too late to formulate a plan to get out. Know ahead of time how to get out – a window. Will you fit? An alternate route may be required.

We hope everyone enjoyed their visit to the firehouse, and we hope you learned things that will help your family survive a fire. We promise next year we will have more live demos outside to show off our skills that we all learned to protect you, and fire truck rides!

Owen Magee
Ex-Chief, Hicksville Fire Department