A fire station open house is like walking into a child’s world of wonder, powering on his imagination, plugging into his curiosity, and downloading a dream.
Welcome to the Marion Fire Department’s Open House on the night of November 6.
So much to see, so much to learn and do – there were swirling lights, rows of fire engines to climb aboard and firefighter suits to touch.
Table after table was filled with fun games and activities, and don’t forget the plastic fire fighter hats, along with lines waiting for face painting, fire hose target practice, and cookies and pizza – all implements of imagination expansion for the boys and girls who are our future firefighters-to-be.
Marion Fire Chief Brian Jackvony presided over it all, no doubt perceived by some of the little ones as the most important man in town. Jackvony stopped by to check in with his wife, Linda, who was passing out slices of pizza to the hefty crowd of open house-goers.
Many of the spouses of the Marion firefighters assisted with the event at coloring stations, the cookie table, and the always popular face painting station.
Firefighter Joel Waters gave a tour of the souped-up doll house outfitted with fire safety simulators – a working fire alarm managed via remote control, working lights and electric outlets that flashed and buzzed to teach about fire hazards, real smoke, and even the odors of electrical fire and smoke to familiarize people with the smells of danger.
But inside the walls of this facility are more than just the standard features of a fire station. Plastered all over the corkboard of the inner hallway are handwritten thank you cards addressed to the firefighters, thanking them for their bravery or for their vital help in assisting them during some of the worst moments of their lives.
These genuine messages of gratitude outnumber the flyers advertising for safety courses and upcoming events, and although these firefighters would say that they were just doing their jobs, some of the residents they helped maintain that these men and women are special – seeing in them exactly what the kids climbing into the front seats of those engines hope to be when they grow up.
By Jean Perry