NORTHWEST FORSYTH — The Forsyth County Fire Department on Monday night held the first of what officials hope will become a series of open house events at its various stations.
Fire Station 3, which is on Wallace Tatum Road off Matt Highway (Hwy. 369) in northwestern Forsyth, offered visitors an up-close look at fire engines, an ambulance and firefighting equipment.
“We want the public to know what we’re capable of, what our mission here in the community is and to feel comfortable always stopping by the fire station for anything that they might need,” said Forsyth Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers.
The department also gave tours of the station, handed out coloring books and had a fire safety prevention trailer on hand to demonstrate safety techniques.
Once inside the trailer, children received a quick lesson on fire safety and where to meet outside before the structure filled with fake smoke and they put those skills to the test.
“The fire service is the only business that tries to put itself out of business by eliminating the very thing that we’re here to work on,” Shivers said. “… We put forth tremendous effort in teaching the public fire prevention and fire safety.”
The two-bay Fire Station 3 opened in July 2013, taking its number from a previous facility on Dr. Bramblett Road, which was built in 1982.
Voters approved the new station in 2008 as part of a special purpose local option sales tax referendum, or SPLOST VI, which included $3.45 million for all costs associated with the facility.
Fire Chief Danny Bowman said the open house focused on children for a reason.
“Don’t ever forget that a fire station is the community that it lies within, and there’s nothing more important than the children in the community, that’s what you see here today,” Bowman said “… That’s why we come to work every day.”
Although this was the first open house, Shivers said he hopes the department will be able to hold similar events at each of its 14 other stations over the next few years.
“So that we can have everybody in Forsyth County have the opportunity to come to the local fire station and experience this very thing,” Shivers said.
“It’s accomplishing so many missions tonight, to preach fire safety to the children, to communicate to the parents a little bit of a fire safety message and what the fire service is capable of, and just to answer all those questions you might have about the fire service.”