Fire Prevention Week in Litchfield Makes Safety Fun for the Whole Family

October 13, 2017


by David S. Morin

Litchfield firefighters spread the message about fire safety to the town’s residents as Fire Prevention Week was observed.  In the United States, the first presidential proclamation of Fire Prevention Week was made in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge.  Fire Prevention Week commemorates the great Chicago fire that took place in 1871 and burned a large swath of the city.  Going on popular tale, the blame was put on Mrs. O’Leary’s cow as it is said to have kicked over a lantern in the barn starting the fire.

Litchfield’s events started off with the annual fire truck parade, which winds through the streets of Litchfield with fire apparatus from across the area.  This year’s event was attended by firefighters from Belleville and Saddle Brook, N.J., and a New York City firefighter stationed in Harlem.  The trio on its annual trip to New Hampshire was invited to ride along on one of the antique fire apparatus participating in the parade.

The three firefighters said it’s great coming to the state as whatever fire department they visit they are all greeted with open arms, and the hospitality is second to none.  As each came from a very urban area, they very much enjoyed riding in the parade, particularly the reception they received from the townspeople along the parade route.  There was a lot of discussion among the visiting firefighters and local firefighters comparing the differences between the very urban and very rural firefighting areas.

On Saturday, more than 500 residents made their way to Litchfield Fire Station for the annual open house.  The event had something for everyone in the family.  The kids got to spray fire hoses, extinguish fires, watch a demonstration on how fire will spread through a building, and the big hit of the day was, of course, a ride in a fire truck including lights and siren.

Several attending the event donned fire gear, and, using the Jaws of Life, had the opportunity to cut up a vehicle.  Parents could obtain the valuable fire safety information along with an overview of the plans for the proposed new fire station.

A band was on hand for entertainment.  Meanwhile, the hot dog and cotton candy stands satisfied anyone’s need for treats.

Litchfield Fire Department has held this event annually since the 1970s to provide those they serve with the needed information on fire safety and to demonstrate their commitment, dedication and service.