Educating public on safe silly season

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2012
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CAMERON BURNELL
Senior Station Officer Ian Drewery demonstrates how to put out an Oil fire at an emergency services day held at East End.

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Families and emergency services enthusiasts were wowed by fire trucks, ambulances and the rescue helicopter all on display at East End Reserve yesterday.

Hundreds of people, including many children, attended the open day organised to educate people about keeping safe, particularly during the "silly season".

The crowd was treated to fire displays, a man being attacked by a police dog and even tasks to try to walk straight wearing goggles that blurred vision.

New Plymouth fire senior station officer Ian Drewery said a key point was telling people to keep looking while they are cooking.

"People might not choose to go out after drinking because they can't drive but quite often they will decide to cook something and it's usually something involving fats and oils," he said. "Fat overheating is very common and the message is to keep an eye on it and don't walk away."

Mr Drewery said elderly people, who can often be forgetful, were also candidates for cooking fires.

"It's Christmas time coming up and smoke alarms are a great gift idea. Smoke alarms never go on holiday, they keep working and save lives," he said.

Taranaki Rescue Helicopter crewman Jayden Strickland said the community support was always fantastic at events and it was good to be able to explain to people exactly what they did.

"One thing I've been pushing today is personal locator beacons that are ideal for people working and doing recreational activities rurally," he said.

"We had a good example of this last night when a guy was mountain biking out the back of beyond and got into trouble but had a PLB so we were able to track him down very quickly."

New Plymouth's Andrew Wongtoo was at the beach with his two children when he noticed the open day going on.

Six-year-old Mitchell and 2-year-old Emma were impressed when the firefighters set a pot on the stove on fire and then made things worse by adding water.

"It's a very good learning experience for everyone and just goes to show how quickly things can get dangerous," Mr Wongtoo said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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