By Maria Richardson and Greg Hince
June 18, 2012. Many came out to the Watauga County Firefighters Assocication 9th annual EmergencyFest at the Raley Lot on Appalachian State’s campus Saturday, June 16, 2012. It offered activities, demonstrations and safety displays for children and adults of all ages.
The event was free and was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It featured train rides, clowns, bounce houses and a dunking booth for the kids and demonstrations from the Fire Department, Police Department, Electrical Departments, Bomb Squad, EMS and Forest Service.
“It’s a great learning experience and tax payers are able to see the tools that their thousands of dollars go to,” Jim Landis, spokesman for the Watauga County Firefighters Association said. “It’s a chance to use a wide variety of equipment for free that you would normally not have the opportunity to do.”
An attendee, Virginia Richardson, stated that she really enjoyed the event and what it had to offer for the children. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to show the children emergency personal in a calm state, since most children are afraid of them.” She went on to say that, “In the future, if there is a problem children will know not to be afraid of someone in a uniform, but instead know they are there to help and keep everyone safe.
Virginia’s husband, Colon, stated that, “Kids like to play and dress up like fireman and cops, so its great that they get to meet their heroes.”
The planning for 2013 is already in the making. Landis said, “It gets bigger and bigger every year.” They hope to continue to grow and have the fun and educational hands on experience for everyone to enjoy and remember.
Photos by Maria Richardson