LAKEWOOD – Big red fire trucks and beaming young faces seem to go together and there were plenty of both at Saturday’s West Metro Fire/Rescue District’s Family Fire Muster.
The event at Red Rocks Community College drew hundreds of families for the fun, but the event has a serious side, as well.
“We want the families to come out, be together, have the chance to experience a bunches of fun venue and a safe venue, but really get to see the public safety components we have Jefferson County,” said West Metro Fire Chief Douglas McBee.
The Muster, which offers kids a chance to play while learning safety, marked its 15th year Saturday.
The event is filled with activities that not only are fun, but teach kids fire-safety and give them a chance to work with firefighters as they train fire hoses on target “fires,” maneuver tricycles through an obstacle course, toss “life-saver” rings to ducks in a wading pool and sit in a kid-size replica fire truck brought over by the Wheat Ridge Fire Department.
They also climbed aboard the real thing: fire trucks, ladder trucks, ambulances and water rescue craft, practiced escaping from through low-hanging “smoke” simulated by low-hanging tarps, fleeing through the window of an inflatable house and making a 9-11 call by talking to a real emergency operator.
“They get a chance to meet firefighters and other emergency responders in a real positive light here trying to help them as opposed to just seeing them at their house” during an emergency, McBee said. “It’s not just family-friendly, but pro-educational.”
More than 20 emergency, health, and safety organizations were on hand at the muster.
The muster began in 1994 when what then was the Lakewood-Bancroft Fire Authority, recognizing the fascination big red fire trucks spark in kids of all ages, rolled its fire-fighting equipment and other emergency vehicles to the parking lot of Carmody Recreation Center. Several hundred people showed up to get a closer look at the vehicles and visit with fire fighters.
The Fire Authority later became West Metro, and the Muster continued, and in 1997 turned it’s focus to offering families a free, fun and informative event to kick off their summer. The Muster unfolds the second Saturday of June each year.