After its initial return last year, the Union Fire Company and other township first responders are eager to again host Fire Prevention Night on Oct. 14.
The annual event, hosted jointly by the Medford Department of Fire and the EMS, resembles an open house where residents of any age, from both the township and surrounding areas, can visit the Union company’s building to celebrate Fire Prevention Week, which begins on Oct. 9.
Guests can watch live demonstrations and engage in informative conversations about fire safety. Emergency vehicles and equipment will also be on display from both Medford emergency services, as well as other surrounding first responder departments, according to former Fire Chief Rich Plowman.
The event made its return last year – after a two-year COVID hiatus – much to the excitement of township officials. As COVID restrictions and concerns ease, Plowman said the fire company has enjoyed getting more involved with the community the way it had in the past.
“We obviously very much enjoy being able to open up our doors to the public and getting that chance to interact with residents and highlight some of our equipment and best tips about fire safety,” Plowman noted. “We’ve been able to do a lot more the past year or so, like Operation Prom for each high school, like we had in the past before COVID.
“This year finally feels like it’s for the most part been us being able to get back to taking part in the variety of things we were used to doing, since those restrictions aren’t as in the way anymore,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent back to normal, but compared to the last couple years, we’ve been able to get back to taking part in so many programs that we hadn’t done for a few years now.”
Fire Prevention Night will also include a puppet show, an appearance from Smokey the Bear, a fire safety trailer, popcorn, handouts and apparatus from local fire departments, according to Medford Fire and EMS. As is typical, a key aspect of the night is outreach to kids.
“We can’t stress enough to children and parents how important fire safety drills are, so we spend a lot of time with that,” Plowman said. “Something important I think … is that we have a fire official get dressed in their equipment, with their gear and mask, with the children watching, because some might see the noises it can make and how it looks as scary.
“ … We have them walk around and show them the equipment so that, God forbid they were in such a situation, they’re not scared of someone that’s there to help them.”
Fire Prevention Night will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1 Firehouse Lane. For more information, call (609) 953-3291.