Representatives from every Lehi City department set up camp in front of the Lehi Legacy Center on Thursday, April 28, for the annual Lehi City Expo. Residents ate fresh popcorn and grilled hot dogs and walked from table to table learning about the inner workings of the city.
The Power Department had a little wheel to spin and a chance to win a free Nest Thermostat and Hutchings Museum gave away passports and wildflower seeds, but the most popular stop at the expo was Lehi Fire Department’s free firefighter hats and a chance to extinguish a fake fire with a real fire hose. They also let brave kids get into a lift for a bird’s eye view of downtown.
The Fire Department set up a bounce house designed to teach children about fire safety at home. “It mimics a small house – we’re teaching them about a fire on the stove and we pipe in fake smoke. They crawl through and out a bedroom window,” explained Chief Jeremy Craft. “The firefighters talk them through it so it’s not scary. It’s better that we stress them a little bit here so they can remember what to do if they’re ever in a real situation.”
“Stay low! Crawl underneath the smoke,” a firefighter instructed as several children crawled through the house. “Great job, you guys. You’re doing great.”
“One of our big campaigns right now is to teach people, especially children, to keep their bedroom doors shut if there’s a fire,” Craft continued. “If they feel the door and it’s even a little bit hot, keep it closed. Stay below the smoke and get out the window if you can.” Craft encourages parents to do drills and practice climbing down a ladder from the bedroom window when there isn’t a fire.
Craft also advises staying put if you can’t get out a bedroom window. “We understand building construction. There are really only a dozen or so ways a house can be built,” he said. “If the fire is at night, we go straight to the bedrooms first to look for people.”
“We love engaging with the kids and teaching them how important fire safety is. Houses are safer than they’ve ever been, but it’s always good to know what to do and not to be afraid of the firefighters,” explained Craft.
Some of the Lehi firefighters wore all their gear to show the kids. “We can look and sound pretty scary with all the gear on. We show them how we put all of it on and it’s kind of like a superhero putting on a uniform.”