MARQUETTE - In the coming days, children across Marquette County will spend lots of time learning about fire prevention and safe escape routes in case of a fire during National Fire Prevention Week.
The event kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday with a static parade in Harlow Park in Marquette.
Fire trucks from every fire department in the county will be present, along with fire crews to help explain how all the equipment on the truck works.
Skandia Fire Department firefighter Doug McMann, and Sgt. Tom Dunleavy and R/Engineer Brian Phillips talk near a fire truck at the 2011 Fire Prevention Week Kickoff. (Photo courtesy of Jim Feliciano)
Marquette City Fire Department Captain Geoff Weston said the static parade is a very family friendly event.
"Drawings and prizes are handed out. There will be a cake and a viewing of all the trucks," Weston said. "A lot of the little kids are picked up and can sit in the trucks. It's a very good family event."
The trucks will leave at 12:30 p.m. to return to their hometown fire departments.
From there, fire departments countywide will offer presentations in their fire stations as well as at schools for area children.
The Marquette City Fire Department will visit three local elementary schools with its fire safety house, which offers kids a chance to experience escaping from their home, should a fire ever start.
The "home" has a kitchen and a bedroom meant to simulate a real apartment or house. It has different types of windows so kids can learn to open each one. Weston said the home utilizes a vegetable oil smoke that is sent throughout the rooms as kids escape from a window with actual smoke detectors going off.
"It simulates a safety drill in your home," Weston said. "You go to an exit area and meet. They also have a phone outside to dial 911 and they say their address, where they live."
The Marquette Township Fire Department will also travel to schools throughout the month, offering their own presentation of fire prevention and safe escape routes in the home. The township will also host some schools at its fire station.
Many other stations will also offer educational opportunity for young children throughout the entire month of October.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.