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October 10, 2012

Birmingham gets fired up about annual open house

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM — On Oct. 13, the Birmingham Fire Department will hold its annual open house with displays, refreshments and lots of hands-on fun for the whole family.

According to Birmingham Fire Inspector Joel Campbell, the open house has been an annual event for the department at least 20 years. It typically takes place in October in recognition of Fire Prevention Awareness Month, and he said it serves as a fun way to give the community a “refresher course” in fire safety.

“We like to invite the public to see what we do and the equipment we use. We have fun and try to educate kids a little bit if we can,” said Campbell.

There will be plenty to do and see at the open house, from fire and emergency medical service trucks to hazardous material equipment and informative displays. Kids will get the chance to handle a real fire hose and fire extinguisher, play in the Lil’ Pumper maze and the Hooks and Ladder slide.

DTE Energy will be on hand with an Arcs and Sparks demonstration area to show spectators the dangers of handling downed power lines.

The free open house will also have a raffle, refreshments and much more, according to Fire Marshall Assistant Chief Lyal Bigger. Bigger came to the department the first week of October from Bloomfield Township, and he said he’s excited to have the chance to meet and greet the Birmingham community for the first time.

“It’s a good time for me, and it’s right up my alley with fire prevention and fire safety. It’s exciting,” said Bigger, who said he’s also looking forward to making sure neighbors in the city are informed on all the services the department provides.

“We do hazardous material mitigation, trench rescue, technical rescue services, water rescue. All of our firefighters are cross-trained as paramedics, so people might wonder why fire trucks come to their house when they called for paramedics — firefighters are a part of that system. We find that often people don’t understand what we do.”

The annual Birmingham Fire Department Open House will take place 1-4 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Adams Fire Station, 572 S. Adams Road. For more information, call the Fire Department at (248) 530-1900.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.