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Firefighters show what they can do

Residents get a chance to try out equipment and see what makes fire departments tick.

May 15, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Walt Disney Studios' firefighter, Mike Ermino, from left, gears up Mia Sondag, 2, during National Fire Service Day, which took place at the Burbank Police-Fire Headquarters on Saturday, May 14, 2011. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Walt Disney Studios' firefighter, Mike Ermino,…

Glendale and Burbank firefighters showed off their life-saving skills Saturday for hundreds of residents during the annual Fire Service Day.

Residents gathered to watch firefighters at both stations perform simulated extrications, where they rescued a person trapped inside a damaged vehicle.

“It’s important for us to open up the doors to the fire station to show the community what we do,” Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said. “It’s all about showing the community some of the things their fire department does on a daily basis.”

Scoggins flipped and served pancakes to a long line of residents standing outside the department’s headquarters on Oak Street.

Firefighters began preparing the day’s meal the night before. They stirred up 90 gallons of batter and allowed it to chill overnight, so they could serve up a fluffier pancake, he said.

While some residents sampled hotcakes, others toured the station and got a chance to test out fire equipment.

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Residents got to test out the department’s high-powered water hoses used to fight fires. Others participated in rescuing a dummy during a Community Emergency Response Team’s cribbing exercise, which simulated a fallen building.

Fifteen-year-old Stacy Alejandre and her sister, Cynthia Alejandre, 12, annually attend Glendale fire’s event to honor firefighters who battled a blaze that started in their apartment building.

The sisters now keep an emergency plan and try to always be prepared.

While firefighters got to demonstrate some techniques, they also reached out to the community about public safety.

Hundreds of residents received fire safety and emergency-preparedness tips from the cities’ events.

“Prevention is 10 times more valuable than suppression and response,” Burbank Fire Chief Ray Krakowski said.

Burbank resident Brad Lovejoy has attended the fire service day since he was a child. Lovejoy now takes his wife, Danielle Nelson, and his two sons, Hunter and Cole, to the annual event.

Attending the event allows his children to learn about fire protection and personal safety, including not talking to strangers, he said.

Burbank police were on hand to provide personal safety tips to residents. Police also displayed their equipment, including a Special Weapons and Tactics vehicle, a Glendale and Burbank joint-use helicopter, and a police dog.

City officials also honored slain public safety members as part of National Police Week.

Interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse and Krakowski placed flower-covered wreaths in front of a police and firefighter statue, which is outside the city’s public safety headquarters.

“This is a day of reflection for us,” Police Deputy Chief Thomas Angel said. “One day a year, we stop and reflect on those members of law enforcement and fire services who lost their lives in the line of duty.”

 
 

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