If you drove past the Naperville Public Safety Campus recently and saw smoke it wasn’t a real fire. It was a demonstration by the Citizens Fire Academy on how to put out a flashover fire.
“Today was awesome,” said Michi Dubes, a participant in the Citizens Fire Academy.
“The heat, the flashover, they tell you about it but until you’ve actually been in it and see it, you don’t believe it. It was cool.”
Participants in this year’s Citizens Fire Academy put out the fire to show the importance of having a home with sprinklers. The earlier the fire gets put out, the less damage to people and property.
The flashover fire and sprinkler room were two of the visual demonstrations at the annual Public Safety Open House at Naperville’s Public Safety Campus. Members of the police and fire departments work together to put on the event.
“We like to get the public out here so that they can get a hands-on look at everything that we do, and also give them demonstrations on how they can keep their own homes safe,” said Mark Puknaitis, Chief of the Naperville Fire Department.
This year firefighters also did a Technical Rescue Team demo, where they repelled down from their truck’s ladder to save a life. Firefighters showed kids the danger of sparklers, and kids got a chance to learn how to be a firefighter and police officer.
“In the fire one we had to take a dummy and drag it from one area to the next, and then take a sledgehammer and hit a board across,” said Lydia McGuire, a Naperville resident. “For the police one we had to sit in a police car and then chased the bad guy and put him in jail.”
Firefighters and police officers also showed how they work together on the scene of a car accident. As police field-tested a driver, who they later determined to be impaired, a helicopter pilot flew in to lift out remaining victim. Firefighters performed an auto extrication where they used the jaws of life to pry a victim from the front seat of a car.
While the open house looked like fun and games each of the events are things members of the police and fire departments have to train for in real life. The day served as a way for local residents to learn how to keep themselves and their families safe.
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