Soldotna residents had the opportunity on Saturday to meet their local emergency responders while sharing a meal and learning how to stop, drop and roll.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Central Emergency Services held an open house at Fire Station 1 in Soldotna from 11-2 p.m., and by 1 p.m. over a hundred people had stopped by to get a sense of what goes on beyond the bay doors.
“It’s been about six years since our last open house, and stepping in as the new fire marshal in April of last year I knew that I wanted to successfully complete one this fall,” Fire Marshal Brooke Dobson said on Saturday. “And so far it’s been a really big hit!”
Dobson said that, because October is Fire Prevention Month, the open house was a good opportunity to educate kids and parents alike on how they can prevent house fires this winter.
Kids were able to run obstacle courses with fire hoses, draw up fire escape plans for their homes and fish for fire helmets. Meanwhile, parents had the opportunity to undergo seven-day emergency preparedness planning, sign up as volunteers for the department or rent chimney sweep brushes to clean out their flues before winter.
Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog also made special appearances to take photos with the kids.
While some residents came for the fun and free food, others, like Sharon Isaak, came to thank her local firefighters for their service.
Isaak and her family lost their house to a fire two years ago, which had been their home since 1986. Isaak said that although they were left with nothing but the foundation and the basement, the CES firefighters were able to save most of their important documents and family photos, as well as most of her son Joel’s artwork.
On Saturday, Isaak was able to meet with some of the firefighters who were there fighting the fire two years ago. She said she was “totally thankful” for what they had done for her and her family.