Last year, budget cuts kept us from celebrating our annual Open House for the first time in more than 20 years, but we are back this year. Don’t miss our 22nd annual East Pierce Fire & Rescue Open House, from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at the East Pierce headquarters station at 18421 Veterans Memorial Dr. E. in Bonney Lake. The free health and safety fair will include more than two dozen booths featuring representatives from East Pierce Fire & Rescue and our partners the Bonney Lake Police, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, the Sumner Police Department and South Sound 911. The annual Open House includes displays by the fire department’s special operations teams, Technical Rescue, Wildland, HazMat and the Water Rescue. Live demonstrations are scheduled throughout the event featuring the use of Jaws of Life. The East Pierce Life and Fire Safety Squad (LAFFS) will perform skits. Be sure to catch the Pierce County Pipes and Drums Band for a moving performance. The popular Airlift Northwest medical helicopter is scheduled to land around 1:30 p.m. Those interested will get an up close look at the helicopter and a chance to chat with the crew.
“The highlight every year for most kids is the chance to play firefighter,” says East Pierce Lieutenant Eric McLeroy. Younger children suit up in pint-size firefighter gear to put out a “fire” and perform a “rescue.” Older children are offered a more challenging course, shooting water from a hose at a target and performing a “rescue.”
Several simulators provide a unique perspective to particular dangers. The Washington State Patrol and Washington State Fire Marshal’s will offer demonstrations at their Residential Fire Sprinkler Trailer. Operation Lifesaver’s Train Simulator shows how to be safe around train tracks. Young children can even practice calling 911 at the 911 Simulator.
Sonic will be selling hot dogs and drinks. Top it off with free ice cream, popcorn and cotton candy provided by the East Pierce International Association of Firefighters, Local 3520.
Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a beautiful basket at the East Pierce Fire and Rescue Foundation booth. Funds raised support the Foundation.
In addition to conveying important safety messages, East Pierce firefighters will be selling discounted life jackets, bike helmets and multi-sport helmets. All purchases include a custom fit. Children and adult sizes will be available on a first come, first served basis. The Bonney Lake Rite Aid will offer flu shots for $25 each. Bonney Lake Police Department will produce children’s photo I.D. cards on-site for $10 each.
Other interactive demonstrations and booths include:
Free parking is available at the Sound Transit Park and Ride at 184th Avenue East, just off State Route 410 East. A free shuttle provided by GLM Charters will run to and from the East Pierce headquarters station during the event.