NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - October is fire safety month and the Croton Falls Fire Department holds an Open House at the North Salem Station each year to educate people about fire apparatus and fire control.
Almost everybody has a fire extinguisher at home, but 99 percent of the people dont know how to use it," said Angelo DAgostino, department vice president.
The firemen will be lighting practice tub fires so the public can get hands-on experience. They will also stage a live burn that involves building an eight by eight by 10 foot shed, filling it with furniture, setting it on fire and putting the fire out.
Yet another demonstration will be the use of the jaws of life.
Cars are designed to collapse in accidents and the people often get trapped inside," DAgostino said. "Its our job to extricate them. The jaws of life is like a giant pair of hydraulic pliers, three feet long.
In addition to the safety demonstrations, people will be able to go into an ambulance and see how it is arranged inside. Children can climb around on the fire trucks and even go for rides.
"Eighty percent of our entire nation depends on volunteer firemen." DAgostino said. "Even in a city as large as Danbury, they hire professionals to drive the trucks but its the volunteers who respond to the scene.
You must be at least 16 years old to become a volunteer fireman. All volunteers are welcome, but DAgostino would especially like to enlist a few more mature people between the ages of 35 and 50.
Volunteers are required to attend a 100-hour training course, free of charge, in Valhalla. It covers first aid training, search and rescue, how to use a hose, how to safely approach a fire, how to put out a fire and other aspects of the job.
There are currently 60 active members of the Croton Falls Fire Department and every one of them is on call 24/7. So far this year they have responded to 575 calls.
The Open House at the North Salem Fire Station, 301 Titicus Rd., will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will include hotdogs, beverages and cotton candy.
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