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Firemen Reach Out with Kid-Friendly Truck Tour, Safety Tips

Firemen from Citrus Heights-based Station 21 were out offering safety tips and a kid-friendly tour of their fire engine at the monthly Birdcage Heights Neighborhood Association meeting, Wednesday night.

Fire Truck from Citrus Heights' Engine 21. Photo by Luke Otterstad
Firemen from Station 21 show off their truck to residents outside of Skycrest Elementary, Wednesday night.

Inside the cafeteria of Skycrest Elementary, Captain Brian Gonsalves was joined by two others from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District to answer questions from the audience and share about their role in the community, before moving outside for a fire truck tour.

Kids enjoyed a hands-on tour of the truck, some taking a seat inside for a photo, and others watching Firefighter Paramedic Tyler Craft “gear up” — a head-to-toe task that takes about a minute in the station, according to Craft.

“Any emergency you have, we can help you with,” said Gonsalves, sharing that Metro Fire is proud to be an “all-risk” equipped District. With helicopters, HazMat teams, bulldozers, ladder trucks, tactical medics, rescue gear and even boats, the Captain said there’s “a myriad of things” the District’s 500 employees can assist with.

The team also shared about a Fire Camp program offered by the District each summer for kids 11 to 13-years-old. According to Craft, the camp runs about $100, and includes a day at Sunsplash, hands-on extinguishing of live fires and two meals a day.

Answering a common question, Craft shared the reason for why an ambulance as well as a fire truck show up to each emergency call — even when there’s no fire.

“Two people is just not gonna work,” said the firefighter paramedic, citing situations where a phone call description of an emergency was inadequate. “We’ve decided you gotta have a minimum of five — six is even better.” He said Metro Fire dispatches a “captain-engineer-firefighter team” on each truck, with a paramedic guaranteed at every emergency — ensuring adequate equipment and trained personnel are present for each situation.

Providing some safety tips, the team recommended a fire extinguisher in both the kitchen and garage, and also passed out an “Emergency Medical Information Sheet” — a one-page form listing a person’s medical history, medications, allergies, hospital preference and emergency contact numbers. Gonsalves encouraged residents to post the sheets on home refrigerators so first responders can have quick access to useful background information in case of an emergency.

Station 21 is located on Greenback Lane near Mariposa Avenue, and is one of four Metro Fire stations located in Citrus Heights. The District is the 7th largest fire agency in California, serving an area of over 400 square miles in the Sacramento region.

On the Net:

Fire Camp info: http://metrofire.ca.gov/index.php/serving-you/community-services/18-operations/community-services/3-fire-camp

Fire Camp Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqwMc3vZImk

Emergency Medical Info Sheet: http://metrofire.ca.gov/phocadownloadpap/emergency%20medical%20information%20sheet%202012.pdf

Birdcage Heights Neighborhood Association, Area 11: http://www.citrusheights.net/home/index.asp?page=888

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