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“It’s called PR, my dear” or why we’ll all sleep well tonight

June 20th, 2004 · No Comments

Note: I meant to post this last night, but fell asleep instead!

While Ted was gone today, I took the girls to the local Fire Department Fun Fair. The girls brought their bikes, got new helmets and partcipated in a bike safety rodeo. There also were a few game booths and a number of demonstrations by the fire department. Fire fighters showed how they rescue a person(dummy) using the hook and ladder. One dressed up in his suit, complete with “Darth Vader” mask with tank, and shook kids hands.

It was obvious that the point of the fair was public relations. The fire department wants to educate kids but it also needs to have a good relationship with the public for a number of reasons, including emergencies but also funding (the island recently voted against a levy for fire department).

One goal was to acquaint the public, specifically children, with emergency personnel so that in a crisis, kids would feel comfortable and not afraid of the masks and trucks. Of course, Jay’s recent fire experience came to mind, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help my children understand what might happen in a dangerous situation and who would help them if we woke up in the night with our house aflame.

The girls each got to help hold the fire hose.


looks a little like a light saber in the photos!

Coming home, backpack pockets and hands were filled with plastic trinkets from the game booths, foam pads for the new helmets, three red toy fire hats and white rulers with fire department and “911” painted on them.

That night before bed, when the girls showed him their new hats, Ted asked them why a fireman would need a hat like that. They talked about how and why the fire department’s protective gear works.

When I went to kiss the girls good night, Abigail asked me, “Why does the fire department have white measuring sticks with red writing on them?” She was wondering why the crew would use a stack of rulers.

I wanted to tell her “It’s called PR and marketing, my dear.” but I didn’t.

For a number of reasons – including the two hours of bicycling around the fair, and our education in fire fighting, I think we will all sleep better tonight…. and we did!

Tags: family