FLATWOODS, Ky. — The Flatwoods Fire Department (FFD) held their 18th Annual Open House event on the department grounds on Oct. 11, in recognition of Fire Prevention Week. Chief Brent Dean said this year’s event was a success.
“We have been having these open houses for 18 years every Fire Prevention Week,” Chief Dean said. “I believe this event has seen another successful year, the community loves to come out and support it, and parents bring their kids out. We usually have even more people out, but it has still been a success.”
Smokie the Bear was among the special guests who attended the Open House, greeting and welcoming attendees as well as taking photos with children full of excitement to meet him. Officers from the Flatwoods Fire Department were present, interacting with the crowd. Children appeared to be awestruck, as they climbed into the FPD vehicle which was on site, to sit inside. Kings Daughter Medical Center had a booth set up, offering free health screenings to attendees, among other booths. Free refreshments were also provided.
Sergeant Marty Hoffman of the Flatwoods Police Department, said the Open House is a great way to communicate public access to both the FFD, and FPD.
“Myself, and officer Tackett, who is our school resource officer, and our canine officer, officer Stevens is here today,” Hoffman said. “We work hand and hand with our local fire department on a regular basis. Events like this are good, because it allows the community to know that we are there, and if they need help they can contact the police and fire department anytime.”
The Mayor of Flatwoods, Ron Fields came out to the Open House. Fields said the city of Flatwoods, Ky. is the second safest city in the state of Kentucky.
“This is really good information for the community, and for the people to come out and see our fire department, and police department,” Fields said. “The Flatwoods Fire Department and Flatwoods Police Department work very well together. We are the second safest city to live in the state of Kentucky. The information of the cities is turned over to the FBI, as far as crime, and all of that information is tallied. Providence, Kentucky which is down around Louisville is the safest city and we are second. The people put a lot of confidence in our fire department and police department.”
Assistant Chief of the FFD, Stephen Carver, said educating the public is one of the important benefits of hosting the Open House events.
“We look at this event as very important to the community. We have been doing this every year since I have been a junior fire fighter here,” Carver said. “We usually have a good turn out. It is important that we do the public education for the community because it helps our fires, as far as keeping the fire ratings down. I think it is an all around good thing for our community.”
The FFD had their fire trucks positioned for children to hop inside, as members of the department took time to explain about the equipment on the vehicles. Crowds gathered around in front of the FFD, as a few of the fire fighters performed a live performance of the “Jaws of Life.” A reenactment was performed, as the FFD broke out windows on the vehicle, and took it apart, allowing people to see what an actual rescue situation entails.
Buford Hurley, director of Greenup County E-911, was also among the special guests at the Open House. Hurley said the event equips the community with the right information.
“This type of event let’s the community know what is available, number one, and let’s them know of the correct information that is available,” Hurley said. “That way, if they need help they know who to call properly, and let’s them know who is responding to their area. A lot of people don’t know who is responsible, especially in this area because the cities are so close together, and there are quite a few of them, actually eight of them right here. Sometimes they do not realize that they live in this city, or that city as far as fire and police departments go. It is also a good opportunity for the kids to get to see all of the equipment that the fire fighters use, and the police use, and of course it is a county 911 system, and everybody in the county uses it.”
Cindy Dean, the wife of FFD Chief Brent Dean, Amanda Carver, wife of the FFD Assistant Chief, Stephen Carver, Gloria Evans, are all administrative staff persons at the FFD.
“We are administrators for Brent. We do all of the paper work for the department, and put functions such as this together,” Cindy Dean said. “We do the Thanksgiving food baskets, and a Christmas dinner. We are going to try to do some fundraising for the department, a ‘Shop With a Fire Fighter next Christmas for the needy children here in Flatwoods. We also do a lot of things for the men here at the department. We feed them on Monday nights when they are training, and try to make sure they are taken care of. “
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.