by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
More than 2,000 Sidway Elementary School students and Fire Prevention Open House visitors came to fire headquarters on Thursday, Oct. 10, to learn more about their Grand Island Fire Co. volunteers, equipment, and operational capabilities.
In a spectacular live demonstration, amazed onlookers watched as a simulated bedroom fire erupted into a blazing inferno a few minutes after ignition, a stark reminder of the urgency in exiting a burning home. In addition to hose practice for kids and safety exercises such as "stop, drop and roll," there were many agencies that contributed to the overall program at the open house. Among them were the Erie County Sheriff's Office mounted division, ECSO bomb squad, ESCO Air 1 helicopter, New York State Police, Grand Island Police, Twin City Ambulance, Homeland Security Special Response Team, Grand Island CERT team, Masonic Lodge and ECSO child identification units, Wendelville Volunteer Fire Department smoke house trailer, Getzville VFD water rescue team, and Sheridan Park VFD ladder truck.
Meanwhile, GIFC Chief Kevin Koch received a special fire prevention week proclamation from Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick "in honor of all local fire companies." And shortly thereafter, an 8-year-old hometown hero, Kiersten Winstel, received the GIFC 2013 fire prevention commendation "for her cool-headed actions Nov. 20, 2012, when she called 911 for assistance for her mother, who had collapsed during a medical emergency, a testament to her ability to take on grown-up responsibilities, in service of others."
The GIFC Ladies Auxiliary basket raffle and hot dog roast were also a resounding success.
Thanks to all those who set aside some quality time to meet with their GIFC volunteers and friends.
A live fire demonstration at the Fire Prevention Open House simulated a bedroom fire. (photo by Ray Pauley)