Community flocks to Fire Dept. open house

  • Published
  • By David Edwards
  • Academy Spirit staff writer
Spectators came to the Academy in droves Saturday to attend the Academy Fire Department's annual open house at Fire Station No. 1.

The weather for the event couldn't have been better, and families soaked up rays, free goodies and leisure time.

Most of the spectators for the skill demonstrations sat in the shaded portions of the grassy slope outside the fire station. They watched a drug-sniffing dog, a Belgian shepherd named Kelly, put through the paces. Kelly's target was a volunteer bad guy who was saved from a really bad day only by the thick protective jacket he wore.

That demo was followed by a mock rescue of a car-crash victim. Firefighters sawed through the windshield, sliced off the top of the car and unhinged the driver's-side door. A team of EMTs wheeled a stretcher over to the dummy and carted it back to the ambulance. Everything was done with military efficiency.

The star attractions for most of the day, though, were the dogs at the Search and Rescue team booth. Bloodhounds, cocker spaniels and a German shorthaired pointer reveled in the attention lavished on them by children eager to pet them.

Most of the kids didn't mind the dogs' reciprocating; they took a licking and kept on ticking. The expression on the bloodhounds' droopy faces didn't change, but there were no spoilers at this party.

The kids also meandered through an assortment of fire engines on display in the parking lot. Open compartments revealed an array of firefighting equipment. A Forest Service green fire truck and an old-time engine were sprinkled among the engines bearing Fort Carson and Air Force Academy insignia.

Of course, no Saturday outing is complete without food, and there was no shortage of it. Volunteers dished out hot dogs, chips and drinks, and the freebies offered for the taking included containers of caramel corn courtesy of the Boy Scouts.