Cummington Fair S.A.F.E. Through the Help of Local Fire Departments
Photos by Sarah Labrie
CUMMINGTON - The weather couldn't have been better and the corn on the cob couldn't have been any sweeter. Add in the assistance of the Ashfield, Chesterfield, Goshen, Williamsburg and Worthington Fire Departments and the fair couldn't have been any S.A.F.E.r.
In what has become a tradition at the Fair, members of the five local departments above volunteered their time to teach fire and burn prevention through the use of the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) trailer. The trailer, which is owned by the Hampshire County Fire Defense Training Council, simulates a kitchen, living room and bedroom.
Fire and burn hazards are set up throughout the rooms. These hazards are pointed out to "students" during an interactive tour of the facility. Lessons are taught on how to 'fix' the hazards to help prevent fires and burns.
Roger Bisbee of the Williamsburg Fire Department assists several 'students' use the escape ladder of the S.A.F.E. trailer.
The bedroom is also utilized to teach the importance of having a home escape plan, how to create one and even given the chance to practice escaping the room during a simulated fire. The bedroom is equipped with a heated door to simulate a fire in the adjacent room. A sliding window with an escape ladder then becomes the safest way to exit the room.
A family of 'students' crawls low to escape the theatrical smoke that is used to simulate real live fire conditions that might be experienced in their own homes. Note the smoke hovering just above their heads.
The trailer also finds its way to schools throughout Hampshire County on an annual basis. If fact, a typical scenario has a family walking past the trailer at the Cummington Fair. When children recognize the trailer because they've already experienced it at school, parents get pulled into the demonstration because many have found the drill 'cool'.
Goshen firefighter Dustin Culver also coordinated a crew that was on standby with hydraulic tools (a.k.a. "Jaws") and Rescue 1 in the event their skills were needed during the Fair's Demolition Derby.
(August 23-26, 2007)