The Oyster Bay Fire Company #1 had the pleasure of hosting Girl Scout Troop 225, Oyster Bay, for a tour of our firehouse. The troop that visited totaled 14 Brownies. They are in the 2nd Grade at T. R. Elementary School. They wanted to visit the Fire Department to learn and receive their “Safety Sense” Try It Patch.
The tour started with an explanation of the three bays of the truck house floor. The girls learned why the vehicles were positioned the way they were, and, what the use of each vehicle was. They then were split up into two groups and entered each of the two ambulances that OBFC #1 runs for emergency calls. Peter Hosey, Paramedic and Michael R. Scheck, EMT-D gave the tour to each of the groups. The girls were taught that each area of the ambulance serves a different purpose. There is the airway area that has equipment and supplies for any problem that is respiratory in nature. They were shown the Meds cabinet and taught about Epi-Pens. They learned what a Life-Pak is for and all the girls volunteered to have a pulse-ox put on their finger to measure the oxygen in their blood and their pulse. They were shown the equipment that is used for administering medicine or taking bloods. One of the girls was brave enough to try on an oxygen mask. The plastic does have an odor and the comment was, “It is stinky!” Each of the girls was given a chance to sit in the cab and see all the controls that have to be learned and listen to the radios. A discussion was held on what to tell Fire-Com if a 911 call had to be made.
Next was a visit to our two pumpers. The girls were given an explanation of the all the equipment that has to be used to fight a fire. The girls then were given a chance to sit in each of the areas our firefighters sit in and were surprised by all the radios, Scot-Paks, and, flashlights that were packed into such small areas. Next was a visit to each cab. Again, all the buttons, switches, and lights were a surprise. But the vehicle that really wowed them was our tower ladder. It is our longest vehicle and they were told that it is capable of raising our bucket 80 to 90 feet into the air. Again a visit to the cab seemed to be an exciting event.
The girls were shown all the gear that a firefighter or firemedic has to wear. Some of the girls even tried on the helmets as long as there were no “cooties” in them! Joe Messina was nice enough to put on his bunker gear and full Scot-Pak to show the girls that they do not have to be frightened if they see a firefighter in an emergency situation.
The culminating activity was created by Alison Johanson, who is studying to be an EMT-D with our Department.. The girls were brought upstairs where they used Oreos, graham crackers, gum drops, stringy strawberry licorice, different colored icing, glitter, and other edible yum-yums to create their own fire trucks and ambulances. I think they enjoyed eating all the parts rather than building with them, but I will admit, many of the vehicles were creative and tastefully done. All the girls, and Mommies, were given Chief’s hat, and, each of the girls received a kit that contained coloring books, crayons, informative fire prevention material designed for children, and a Tot-Finder patch.
The girls were a joy to be with and the smiles on their faces proved that it was a worthwhile experience for them and for of us as well.