CARLSBAD — Fire Engine 2212 along with an ambulance crew welcomed onlookers at the Dove Library on Nov. 5 when local firefighters shared fire safety information and offered hands-on lessons, such as how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
“Several hundred people came by,” said EMS Manager Linda Allington.
She said the Carlsbad Fire Department hosts the event four times each year in the library’s courtyard.
“It’s our outreach to the community,” she said.
The bright red emergency vehicles attracted curious kids who got to climb into the driver’s seat of the fire engine and peek inside of the ambulance.
Justin Graham, one of the firemen at the site, told a group of kids that the ambulance was a “mini hospital.”
He showed them a heart monitor, opened the medicine case and passed around an oxygen mask for them to handle.
Firefighters helped older children and adults at information stations set up in the courtyard, where they provided tips on emergency devices that took just minutes to learn or review.
Allington said the firefighters showed people how to use an automatic external defibrillator (a potentially life-saving portable machine that detects heart rhythms and delivers shock if necessary) and had a special CPR mannequin for people to practice life-saving resuscitation steps on.
For a tip on using a fire extinguisher, they suggested people remember the acronym P.A.S.S., she said, which stands for the steps for using it effectively: Pull the pin, aim, squeeze and sweep.
Fire Captain Vince Maniscalo was also at the event, and said that kitchen safety remains an issue that people should be informed on, and that people should never put water on a grease fire.
“Water on a grease fire will intensify,” he said.
Water should never be used to combat an electrical fire, either, such as one started by a toaster, he said.
Instead, it’s recommended that baking soda be used to put out the fire, or to cover the grease fire with a lid if it’s safe to do so, he said.
“Every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher for home safety,” Maniscalo said.
Cooking is the top cause of house fires and house fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2005 to 2009, kitchen fires accounted for 42 percent of structure fires.
Water safety was also promoted at the event, and the City of Carlsbad handed out “Water Watchers” packets that included a lanyard with emergency instructions.
Allington said the designated water watcher should keep eyes on the pool and not eat, leave to get a drink, or drink alcohol while supervising.
Residents may pick up a water watchers packet at any fire station in Carlsbad.