Children and adults who dream of becoming a firefighter had the chance to experience what it takes at the annual Hudson Fire Department open house Oct. 6.
Fire Chief Jerry Varnes, his staff -- most of whom are volunteer firefighters -- and their families had plenty for the community to see. Demonstrations, the various types of life-saving outfits firefighters wear, equipment and of course all the fire trucks were on display and available for people to interact with.
Some of the demonstrations included a mock fire response, rescuing someone from a burning building, showing off how various types of fire hoses spray, and even using the jaws of life to rescue a person from a car badly damaged from an accident. One of the fire hoses used was an original from 1859, and although not used in an emergency, still operates.
"Last year was the first big one," Varnes said about the event. "We had six demos last year, this year we have nine. A lot of fighters came out to help."
The variety enticed people to stay longer, according to Lt. Kevin Nelson.
"Adding more events from last year, people have been coming and staying," Nelson said. "People came from as far as Massillon to see this."
More than 25 volunteer firefighters came out, along with 20 of their family members to help with the event.
Residents, totaling more than 125 on the day, were able see first hand where their tax dollars are spent when it comes to keeping the community safe, said Varnes.
One of the demonstrations, fire extinguisher practice for anyone at least 15 years old, was especially useful, according to Varnes. Many of the people who used the extinguisher did so for the first time. In case of an emergency, it is important to know how to use it and people rarely have a chance to use it in a safe setting.
Being up close to all the fire equipment is a special in and of itself, said Varnes.
"To be 10 feet away from this equipment is so rare, usually we are blocking off an area [during a real fire]," he said.
People were also able to have their picture taken with the 1928 Seagrave Special fire truck that Varnes and many others helped to restore recently. The truck was in the Memorial Day Parade this past May, but at the open house people had the opportunity to see it up close and even sit on it.
For those that missed out, they will simply have to wait until next year to taste the life of a fighter.
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