On Saturday morning, the topic of safety education made for an entertaining morning for families. Thanks to General Insurance Services (GIS) and the Washington Township Fire Department, the entire community was invited to join in on their Family Safety Day.
Craig Menne, President of GIS, said their partners of the event care deeply for the community’s safety.
“Eight different organizations, including The Sheriff’s Department, Swat Team, and Porter Health Care System are here with the united goal of keeping the community safe,” Menne shared.
The event was tailored for both adults and children, featuring booths with educational material and giveaways. The turnout was great as kids buzzed around with balloons, painted faces, and shiny red firefighter hats, all while learning how they can help to keep their communities safe.
“We’ve got the ability for kids to interact with Smokey the Bear, Sparky, and to see a helicopter land,” Menne said. “It’s ultimately to reinforce what the police department and firefighters recommend for safety.”
For firefighter Nathan Calabrese, Family Safety Day was about being accessible and supportive to the members of his community.
“We bring families from the community in to learn various things about safety,” Calabrese said. “An example is child car seats installation information. We also have all fire department vehicles outside so that people can climb in and check them out.”
Calabrese said that events like Family Safety Day are important since they directly impact the well-being of the community.
“This event helps us to discuss different areas of safety in the home and in their daily lives,” Calabrese shared.
It was evident by the laughter and excitement of kids and parents alike that Family Safety Day made learning fun. The biggest smile may have been from Scott Virden’s autistic son, Matthew.
“Matthew is interested in becoming a firefighter or police officer,” Virden said. “We go to all the local events that the fire department offers.”
At Saturday’s Family Safety Day, Matthew of course chose police and firefighters as his main interest. Even though he is an expert on the vehicles and equipment used, safety day had even more topics for him to explore.
“[Family Safety Day] means so much to Matthew to be able to check out the fire engines and visit with the firemen,” Virden stated. “He’ll have a good day and that good day effects his whole week.”
Virden was especially thankful for the opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall day with his family.
“We appreciate that this is a free family activity. Sometimes with eight kids, it’s hard to find things to do,” Virden stated. It is clear that Family Safety Day offered his family the perfect place to find entertainment, while also allowing them to experience the most important part of their community, safety.
Virden’s entire family ranged from toddlers to adults, and all had a blast enjoying this year’s event, and they shared how they plan on returning next year to learn even more!