Daniel McGeough, 3, tries on some child-sized firefighting gear with help from his dad Martin, left, and Firefighter Justin Barr at Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s open house at Station No. 4 Wednesday. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Families meet with Nanaimo firefighters at fire station open house

Nanaimo Fire Rescue public open house at Fire Station No. 4 draws hundreds of children and families

Families turned out for fire trucks, hamburgers, home fire safety tips and to meet with some of the city’s firefighters at Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s open house Wednesday.

The four-hour event was hosted at Nanaimo Fire Rescue Station No. 4 on Cranberry Road and drew several hundred families.

Children got to dress up as firefighters and get hands-on experience with some of the fire truck’s on-board communications and firefighting equipment.

Visitors saw CPR demonstrations and learned from fire prevention officers about proper care of home fire safety devices, such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and how to be prepared in case there’s a fire at home. There was even a recruitment table for people interested in pursuing careers with Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

Nanaimo’s fire department at one time hosted annual fire fairs at its fire training centre on Labieux Road, but stopped staging them several years ago. Wednesday’s event, which drew hundreds of people, could signal a revival of these kinds of events, albeit on a smaller scale.

“We thought we’d host this and try it as a different approach to how we engage with the community,” said Karen Fry, Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief.

Wednesday’s event drew 465 people and Fry said, in an e-mail Thursday, that more open houses are in the works.

RELATED: New Nanaimo fire hall plans unveiled

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Calix Ducklow, 5, checks out firefighting gear on a pumper truck with help from firefighter Thomas Bernardino at Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s open house Wednesday. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Jacob Tetaert, 2, wasn’t intimidated by the size of one of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s fire trucks during a close inspection he made of the vehicle at the fire department’s public open house at Station No. 4 Wednesday. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

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