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VIDEO: Langley fire hall open houses fire up young imaginations

Kids of all ages got to check out fire equipment and trucks as well as RCMP vehicles and B.C. Ambulances up close during open houses at Township firehalls June 11 and 12

A fog machine and a storage room at the Otter firehall helped firefighter Nathan Van Schagen teach people about how to improve their chances of getting out of a fire.

"If you go lower to the ground, you'll notice the visibility is better," he explained.

Firefighters teach people to get on the ground because they have a better chance of being able to navigate their way to safety. When Van Schagen stood about eight feet away from others in the smoke room, he could not be seen at all. He noted that conditions in a burning building are worse than in a simulated smoke room due to the addition of heat and fire, which is why fire departments spend time trying to educate the public about fire safety.

"[There's] the formation of a thermal layer in a real fire where the heat and the soot and smoke will rise up and of course, create an unsafe environment for the individual in the fire," he explained.

Groups went in and out of the hall's smoke room throughout the evening Tuesday as they took part in the various activities of the Township firehall open houses, including spraying pressurized fire hoses at targets, exploring the massive fire trucks, and more. Underlying the temporary tattoos, stickers, colouring pages, and other swag given out was the message about fire safety shared through various means. As well the open houses are a chance for the public to see and meet local fire crews when they are not busy at an emergency scene.

Open houses were held Tuesday at the halls in Otter, Aldergrove, Murrayville, and Brookswood. The Fort Langley, Willoughby, and Walnut Grove hall open houses are Wednesday, June 12. BC Ambulance Service members and RCMP attended some of the open houses.


The Aikema family enjoyed touring the Murrayville hall on Tuesday evening.

"My favourite part was going in the fire trucks and seeing all the cool tools they use," said Kaylee Aikema, who would seriously consider becoming a firefighter when she grows up.

Her brothers, Liam and Devon, enjoyed being able to hop into the police car.

The youngest, Callen Aikema, said he liked exploring the fire trucks. He knew just what he wanted to do when he grew up – "I wanna be a police."


Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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