Kids have fun while learning important safety lessons at Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s safety fair

By Lou Ponsi

Smoke alarm … check. Bicycle helmet … check. Water watcher kit … check.

Families who attended the Fire Safety Fair and Movie Night hosted by Anaheim Fire & Rescue received those items and more.

The fair was held Oct. 6 at Sycamore Park to kick off Fire Prevention Week.

Anaheim Fire & Rescue Inspector Adrian Abel teaches Gigi Koe of Anaheim Hills the proper technique of using a fire extinguisher with the aid of an electronic simulator at the Safety Fair.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Children received free helmets to be worn while riding bikes, tricycles and scooters.

The kids also worked on fire-prevention themed crafts and were treated to a showing of the computer-animated Disney film, “Planes II: Fire and Rescue,” which centers around Dusty Crophopper’s training to become a firefighter.

“Today we kind of wanted to focus more on the children,” Fire Marshal Allen Hogue said.

Brooklynn Rarey, 5, of Anaheim Hills gets help from her father, Eric, to find just the right bicycle helmet given to kids at no cost by Anaheim Fire & Rescue during the agency’s recent Safety Fair.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

And the goats and puppies were hugely popular with everyone.

Goats and puppies at a fire safety event?

Absolutely, the fire marshal said.

Claudia Rodriguez of Anaheim Hills gets directions from Anaheim Fire & Rescue Inspector Adrian Abel as she uses a fire extinguisher simulator at AF&R’s Safety Fair on Oct. 6.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Goats typically are dispersed in rural areas to eat the dry vegetation that would otherwise be fuel for a brush fire, Hogue said, and dogs bred as herders are deployed to keep the goats together and protect them from predators.

“There are probably about 300 (goats) right now in Oak Canyon Nature Center,” the fire marshal said.

AF&R Community Engagement Specialist Natali Rudometkin, left, and Cadet Nicole Nelson give free 10-year battery smoke detectors to Anaheim residents at Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Fire Safety Fair at Sycamore Park.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Libier Machuca, of Long Beach, attended the safety fair with her daughter and mother-in-law. She wanted to gather up as much information as she could.

“I just wanted to be more aware … be prepared for anything,” Machuca said.

Her daughter learned one important lesson.

A family gets close-up time with the Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd Mix heard dogs during Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Safety Fair.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

“I learned that, for safety first, before we ride our tricycle, we need to put on a helmet and we need to put on a helmet before we ride a bike or a scooter,” said Machuca’s daughter, Audrey, 5.

Families could take enough smoke alarms to be installed in every bedroom and hallway in the house.

“I just wanted to learn more about what we can do to be a little safer,” said Jocelyn Aquino, who attended the fair with her 5-year-old son, Matthew, and 7-year-old daughter, Sophie.

Crowds gather at Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Safety Fair at Sycamore Park.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Adults were taught the proper methods for spraying the chemicals from a fire extinguisher and could take home a water watcher kit containing everything a designated water watcher would need when keeping an eye on children in a pool.

“We had forgotten about water safety,” Aquino said. “That is something we had never thought of … have someone who is designated to watch the kids. If you have one designated person, it will be safer.”

Anaheim Fire & Rescue holds safety events periodically throughout the community.

Explorer Wyland Sabri works the gift basket table for people who complete each safety station at Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Safety Fair at Sycamore Park.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Matthew Aquino, 7, of Anaheim Hills (right) gets a fire hat at Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Safety Fair.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Grazing goats and Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd Mix heard dogs are brought in for the public at Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Safety Fair.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Kids gather around the craft table. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge