By MATT MASTERS
First responders from across the county gathered in Brentwood on Saturday for the city’s 9th annual Public Safety Day Festival at the Brentwood Place Shopping Center
Visitors met firefighters with the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department, officers with the Brentwood Police Department, deputies with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and paramedics from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt showed off equipment, vehicles and tactics used to keep the public safe in the event of emergencies.
Children lined up for several activities including a bounce house, the Kiddie Combat Course where children raced with hoses and rescued a large stuffed bear in need of rescuing and the chance to fight a mock house fire with a real firehose.
BFR firefighters put on two demonstrations including an extracting a victim from a car by removing the top of the car and a residential fire sprinkler exhibition where they set two mock living rooms on fire — one with a sprinkler installed and one without a sprinkler.
BFR Battalion Chief Brian Collins led the side-by-side living room fire demonstrations, a demonstration that he said is usually the most popular part of the day and was no different on Saturday as a large crowd surrounded the demonstration even as the flames heated up the already hot summer afternoon.
“It’s not everyday that you get to see somebody cut up a car or set a room on fire or things of that nature. Certainly it’s a public education event and a public relations event, but it’s a lot of fun for the guys and gals, they like coming out here and doing this. Any chance that we get to interact the people that we serve on a daily basis in a positive manner is a good thing,” Collins said. “Frequently we see people on their worst day and this is a chance to hang out and talk and socialize in a non-emergency setting.”
Collins said that in addition to the child safety seat installations that the department was performing on site, that the department does offer that and other services such as providing working residential smoke alarms to those who may not be able to afford them year round.
Brentwood resident Domenic Calkins brought his daughter Chessa to the event for the second year, where she said that her favorite activity was putting out the mock house fire along with the goodie bags full of stickers, pens, and other gifts handed out by the various departments.
“We just they’re a bunch of great guys and gals and they do an awesome job,” Domenic Calkins said. “It’s neat to see all of the different equipment and what they’re prepared to handle. It’s all a good reminder of the things that we need to be doing in our household and quite honestly teaching our children.”
In addition to the Public Safety Day Festival, all four Brentwood Fire Stations were open for public tours where visitors learned about station life.