In conjunction with Fire Prevention Week the Garden City Park Fire Department, under the direction of Chief Chris Austin, held an Open House at its headquarters on Jericho Turnpike last week.
Among the many activities available to the public was a new, impressive demonstration provided by the New York State Troopers on seat belt safety and the importance of wearing seat belts to save lives.
Organizing the Garden City Park Fire Department's Open house: Captain William Rudick, Lieutenant Tom Cukro, Chief Chris Austin, Assistant Chief James Duggan, Commissioner Donald Olsen, public relations Frank Donnatin and fire fighter Donald Olsen, Jr.
The troopers had a truck mounted on a swing board. First they demonstrated how seat belts could impact the "dummies" that were belted into the truck and the impact if they were not. The truck then simulated a crash by the trooper pushing a button and the truck swung around. The belted "dummies" were pushed around a bit, but they stayed within the frame of the truck. The "dummies" that were not belted flew out of the windows of each side of the truck in about 10 seconds. Adults and children alike watching this demonstration as it was repeated time and time again were very impressed with the impact that seat belts have on saving lives.
The firefighters also demonstrated putting out a car fire, by setting a car on fire, and how someone is released from a car when trapped inside by using the "jaws of life."
In the firehouse itself the firefighters not only served up delicious hotdogs, but also had a video tape running with any number of cautions for children including the danger of talking to strangers, playing with matches and a warning to make sure that all smoke detectors are equipped with working batteries.
Present on the scene was the "smoke" house used for teaching children how to escape a smoke-filled building.
The firefighters then delighted the younger crowd by taking them in the "cherry-picker" basket of the aerial ladder. Once fully extended the children could see all over New Hyde Park, Lake Success and clear to the Twin Towers off the expressway.
The day proved to be extremely informative and gave all present a new respect for the dangers of fire.