By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Fire trucks still inspire wonder, but aiming a pulsating fire hose at a target was a favorite activity during the Oct. 1 fire station open house at 3160 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn Fire Inspector Jennifer Wenzel, who was helping children don fire turnout gear and aim a real fire hose at a target, said she hopes the children appreciate some of the challenges firefighters face, like heavy protective gear and the skill and stamina required to handle a fire hose.
“I just want the appreciation of the job, of what we’re doing for our community and how we’re here for you,” Wenzel said. “A lot of people don’t understand our job or how we work, and the type of gear we put on.
“So I wanted to let the kids see exactly what we do and that we have fun with it, but we are working hard for you, and to also respect that we are also officers and that we are public servants, and that if you ever need us, we are a safe place to be and we are always open.”
Wentzel said she wants the children to understand that if they ever have a house fire or a medical emergency, the fire department will be there for them.
She said the station is implementing a new technical rescue team, which will use special resources to locate, extricate and medically treat people trapped in collapsed structures, floods, and to perform other lifesaving rescues. A water rescue team is also being added in the next few months.
Assistant Fire Chief Steven Densmore said they like to get the children into the station during Fire Prevention Week.
“It very important to bring the kids into the fire station, give them some treats, and also emphasize the smoke detector program that we also institute, and also ‘stop, drop and roll.’”
His daughter Faith Densmore, 12, said it is important for children to develop safe habits around fire, and to never play with fire.
“It’s important for the kids to learn that,” she said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)