Kindling a passion for safety: Rochester Hills Fire Department celebrates Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-14

By Jen Bucciarelli

The Rochester Hills Fire Department kicks off Fire Prevention Week as they host their annual Emergency Apparatus Display Friday, Oct. 12 from 7-9 p.m. followed by fire station open houses on Sunday, Oct. 14 from noon-4 p.m.

Chris Kraft and Nick Birchmeier stand with a Rochester Hills Fire Department fire engine as the nationally celebrated Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-14 approaches.

This year’s theme is “Be Rabbit Ready.” Since rabbits build burrows with two exits, the theme hopes to teach children to know two ways out of every room if there is a fire.

“It (will) heighten fire safety, prevention and awareness and give the RHFD an opportunity to host events for our community and spread the fire safety information that should be in every home,” Nancy Butty, fire public education specialist, who has been working with Fire Prevention Week for 11 years said.

With nearly 500 expected guests, the Emergency Apparatus Display will showcase Sparky, the fire safety mascot, special rescue vehicles, ambulances and a helicopter, which is “always a big hit with both kids and adults,” Butty said.

Stations that will hold open houses include: Station 1, located at 1111 Horizon Court in Rochester Hills; Station 2, 1251 E. Auburn Road; Station 3, 2137 W. Auburn Road; Station 4, 2723 Walton Blvd. and Station 5, 251 E. Tienken Road.

Butty said one of the best parts about the week is the smiles of Rochester’s children as they interact with firefighters.

“I think it’s great for children in our community to know their local fire department not because they had a 9-1-1 emergency,” she said, “But because we are active in their formidable years before they may ever have an emergency.”

Fire Prevention Week involvement nationwide can include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Fire Administration, several departments, businesses and schools in the area.

“Not only are we very fortunate to live and work in the community of Rochester, but we have to be very grateful for the work of the RHFD as our first responders,” Donald Maskill, principal of Hugger Elementary in Rochester Hills said. “The RHFD always keeps the community’s safety as their top priority.”

Butty reminds all residents to not only have working smoke alarms in their homes, but to “check them monthly and change the batteries whenever they change their clocks.”

While the slogan changes from year to year, the theme of Fire Prevention Week remains the same—the RHFD “wants their residents, guests and citizens to be fire safe,” Butty said.

For more information about the upcoming events during the week, please visit www.RochesterHills.org or call 248­656­4720.

To learn more fire safety tips for children, check out www.Sparky.org/TV.

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About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at JenBucciarelli@gmail.com.

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