Hudson -- Nearly every child and even some adults dream of dressing up like a firefighter and riding on a fire truck. Those dreamers will get a chance to learn all about firefighting during the Hudson Fire Department annual fire safety open house Oct. 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Hudson Safety Center, 40 S. Oviatt St.
Chief Jerry Varnes said last year approximately 250 firefighters and citizens were in attendance. It was the largest turnout for the 50-plus year event. Varnes hopes for a similar turnout.
There will be demonstrations inside and outside, weather permitting, he said.
Inside, the department's antique equipment will be on display, and firefighters will show the public some of the specialized equipment used for fires, ice rescue, rope rescue and hazardous materials. Visitors will be allowed to put on the different suits.
A professional photographer will take photos of children posed on fire trucks and email them to the parents at no charge, Varnes said. The kids can go into the safety house and meet Sparky the dog.
One of the more popular items last year was a dummy dressed up in full gear with a price tag on how much it costs for equipment.
"It's shows where tax dollars are spent," Varnes said. "And why the equipment is needed."
Some of the outdoor demonstrations, weather permitting, include the jaws of life.
"We bring in cars and physically cut them apart," Varnes said.
Firefighters who are part of the rope team rescue or hazmat team belong to a county-wide response team, Varnes said.
"Not everyone can rappel off a cliff," he said. "But we're very involved in county technical rescue."
Adults will have plenty to learn and do. For those who own a fire extinguisher but have never operated one, try one out during the event.
"We go to businesses to train the staff to put out small fires in annual fire extinguisher training," Varnes said. "It's often the first time someone actually uses a fire extinguisher."
Last year there was a long line of people learning how to use an extinguisher properly, he said.
During the mock fire response, firefighters demonstrate what they do when they respond to a fire, Varnes said. They will attach a hose to a fire hydrant and with firefighters in full gear, they will force open a door and squirt water while someone narrates the action to the crowd, Varnes said.
Although the firefighters explain what they do, there are plenty of questions from the public.
"The people have wonderful questions," Varnes said. "It's a neat thing to watch the interaction between the public and firefighters."
Because many of Hudson's firefighters are volunteers, it's a good opportunity for them to interact with the public, he said.
The Safety Trailer used to teach third graders about fire safety, or more accurately, what they have learned in pre-school, first and second grade, will be at the event.
Each year, the trailer is taken to McDowell and students go through a staged theater production, Varnes said. They are junior fire inspectors who must find fire safety hazards such as defective smoke detectors, exposed cord wires, a flaming pot on the stove, a hot door and then escape down a ladder out a window.
"They practice all the stuff they've learned the past four years," Varnes said. "Thousands of kids pour through this. It's great to see them learn and share with younger kids or parents."
The safety trailer can also simulate a tornado event and teach students what to do during bad weather, he added.
"We can do fire and weather safety with the same piece of equipment," Varnes said. "We use it all the time at special events."
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing
Schedule of demonstrations at the Hudson Fire Department annual fire safety open house Oct. 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Hudson Safety Center, 40 S. Oviatt St. Some demonstrations are weather dependent.
1 p.m.: Fire extinguishers practice for adults
1:20 p.m.: Rope rescue team
1:45 p.m.: Fire hose and nozzles
2 p.m.: Jaws of life
2:20 p.m.: Mock fire response
2:40 p.m.: Fire extinguisher practice for adults
3 p.m.: Rope rescue team
3:25 p.m.: Fire hose and nozzles
3:40 p.m.: Jaws of life