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  • Open House
    Updated On: Jul 11, 2013
    Firefighter Philip Neith shakes hands with Zachary Stoffer, 3, during Belvoir’s Fire & Emergency Service’s open house in the Specker Field House parking lot Oct. 6. Neith, from North Post Fire Station 463, said his routine helps children not to be afraid of fully suited firemen in emergency situations.

    Fort Belvoir's Fire & Emergency Service held its annual open house Oct. 6 in the Specker Field House parking lot. The open house was held in conjunction with the installation?s child development centers to teach children about fire prevention and personal safety.


    In the past few years, the open house was scheduled during the post?s Oktoberfest weekend activities.  John Weaver, fire protection specialist, said budget shortfalls caused the event to be delayed until the following week.


    This year, we decided to do something new by bringing our open house out to the child development centers. Weaver said. Weaver said they chose Specker's parking lot because it had parking for all the fire apparatus.


    Although it was aimed, primarily, at the CDCs, it was open to everyone on post, Weaver said.


    During the open house, Weaver educated children on fire safety using a simulated oven fire in the kitchen module of the fire safety trailer. The trailer also has a bedroom module to teach children what to do in the case of a fire in their homes.


    Children were also allowed to crawl through a Belvoir Police cruiser, sit on a Belvoir police motorcycle, and see various pieces of police equipment.


    (The open house) is an opportunity for the children to get an up close and personal look at the different kinds of equipment the police use. said Officer Ron Horne, as he helped one wide-eyed 4-year-old down from her perch on one of the police motorcycles.


    About three yards away, Firefighter Philip Neith continued his routine, donning his gear and taking it off. He said he puts on the full fire suit, including helmet, mask and respirator, and then removes the helmet and mask to allow children to see there is a real person under all the gear. Neith said it helps to lessen the fears of the uniform so that, in an emergency, children familiar with it won?t see them as scary monsters.



  • IAFF Local F-273

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