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Firefighters show off rescue equipment during fire safety open house

Posted at 8:07 PM, Oct 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-09 00:01:30-04

Fire preparedness was the topic of Saturday’s open house at the Five Cities Fire Authority headquarters.

Families got to see fire trucks and a rescue demonstration up close.

‘Fire won’t wait, plan your escape’ is the theme of this year’s National Fire Preparedness Week.

“So, we really want to talk to people about having a family meeting, coming up with a home escape plan with two different routes to exit your home and a place where everyone knows to meet up,” said Chief Steve Lieberman, Five Cities Fire Authority.

Families and community members also got to see heavy equipment put to use.

In a simulated rescue, firefighters used the Jaws of Life to rip off two car doors and save a person trapped inside.

“It’s very rare that the community sees us doing technical skills. You’ll see a fire engine driving down the street and that’s all they know,” said Chief Lieberman.

The demonstration was meant to show people the work that goes into extricating someone from a wrecked vehicle and why it takes as much time as it does.

“We went and checked out the car and looked at the door come off and it was pretty amazing, those big Jaws of Life,” said Grover Beach resident Kim Hennessy.

Fire officials urge people to familiarize themselves with any threats whether it be a house fire or a wildfire.

“For the Five Cities as well as our county, wildfire is a big threat once you get to that eastern part. But also, areas like Grover Beach and Oceano, we have that dunes interface and we have fires in that area as well,” added Chief Lieberman.

From having an escape plan to stop, drop and roll, there were plenty of educational opportunities at fire headquarters this weekend.

“So, Wrigley is a dalmatian. She is our mascot for the Five Cities Fire Authority. She joined us about five years ago and she just loves to be at public events and support the community,” said Arroyo Grande resident Megan Leathers.

Wrigley the dalmatian has been trained to stop, drop and roll and she showed off her skills Saturday morning.

“Treats were definitely involved but it took a couple of months of steady training like everyone needs,” added Leathers.

If you want to see Wrigley again, she’ll be at Fire Prevention Night at next week’s Downtown SLO Farmers' Market.

Fire officials say it’s important to have a plan because once you smell smoke, you may only have one or two minutes to get out.