Stewart Deveau (left), chief fire prevention officer with the Yarmouth Fire Department, and Dave Winship, Yarmouth fire inspector, hope plenty of people will turn out for the Aug. 24 event at the Mariners Centre.
ERIC BOURQUE PHOTO
By Eric Bourque
The Mariners Centre will be the site Saturday, Aug. 24, of a public event focusing on firefighting.
Billed as a family education and fun day, it is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature various displays and demonstrations related to the fire service, activities for children and more.
The event is open to fire departments throughout the tri-counties, says Stewart Deveau, a volunteer member of the Yarmouth Fire Department and a member of the committee organizing the event.
Basically, he says, the goal is to try to give people a better idea what firefighting is all about.
“We will have static displays of emergency vehicles and other equipment,” he said. “There are activities for just about everybody.”
There will be some hands-on activities too, a chance for adults, for example, to try on the bunker gear worn by firefighters.
The lineup at the Mariners Centre also will include vehicle extrication demonstrations, among other things.
“Our main goal for this is to educate the public about firefighting, the roles of a firefighter, how to become a firefighter etc.,” said Deveau, chief fire prevention officer with the Yarmouth Fire Department.
“We’re asking the public to come out, meet the firefighters. Get to know your firefighters. A lot of people see us on the street and don’t realize we’re firefighters. And when they see us at a (fire) scene, we’re in our gear and they don’t realize it’s us. So come out, learn about your firefighters, learn about the fire departments, be it the Yarmouth Fire Department or your own community fire department.”
Organizers hope to make the event an annual one.
The idea for it originated in Yarmouth, but other local fire departments have come on board, making it a joint effort, Deveau says.
“One of our members started brainstorming and came up with this idea and he contacted many of the departments,” he said. “We’ve had quite a response.”
Deveau, who joined the Yarmouth department in 1978, notes that the number of volunteer firefighters has fallen considerably over the years. Fire departments like Yarmouth’s would welcome new members, he says, particularly from the younger generation.
As for the Aug. 24 event, while there will be demonstrations, displays, information booths and more, Deveau points out that there will be a “fun” component to the day too, including a bouncy castle for children and hotdogs to eat.
“There’s something there for everybody, adults and children alike,” he said.