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Couchiching fire department to host annual open house

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The Couchiching First Nation Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual open house this Saturday (July 28).

Slated to run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., there will be no shortage of fire safety demonstrations, fun games, and friendly competitions for attendees to take part in.

Volunteer firefighter Mike Thompson has built a simulated “fire house” that kids can shoot water at with the department's hoses.

As well, children will be able to climb inside and explore the department's recently-donated 1997 Freightliner truck it received in late June.

Youngsters also will have a chance to meet and interact with “Sparky the Fire Dog.”

A barbecue also will be held.

The purpose of the open house is to get the community active with the department and show them the work that it does, Thompson noted.

He said it's also essential for spreading fire safety information, adding smoke detectors will be distributed to those in need.

“We have goodie bags that we're going to be giving out to the kids with fire safety escape plans, little fire safety kits, and stuff like that,” said Thompson

When it comes to fire safety information, he noted teaching kids is the best way to reach their parents.

“We find that if you can get to the kids, they tend to educate the parents more,” he remarked.

For instance, Thompson said children seem to be more knowledgeable on topics such as the “green light,” a device similar to a police siren that's placed on top of volunteer firefighters vehicles while they rush to an emergency.

“Little kids know that but we've had adults looking at us not knowing what it means,” he noted.

Last year's open house drew about 200 people the rain.

The volunteer department is hoping it can educate even more people this time around.

Thompson stressed the department has an “open door policy” for anyone in the community.

“If we're here and you see the doors open and want to come in, stop in,” he enthused.

He also is encouraging everyone in the community and surrounding areas to come out to Saturday's open house.

“Everyone is welcome,” he stressed.

Fellow volunteer firefighter Aimee Lyon said it's a great opportunity for connecting the community together, seeing old friends and familiar faces.

The department also currently is seeking more volunteers.

Those who would like to learn more or join the department are asked to call fire chief Blake Yatchuck at 276-0073

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